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  • KRQE News 13

    Albuquerque advisory board considers making attacks against homeless a hate crime

    By Chandler Farnsworth,

    24 days ago

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1bcsjn_0tyRZruF00

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new proposal would create a new classification of hate crime against homeless people in Albuquerque. When talking about hate crime, attacks on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and nationality are usually what people think of. A recent push from the city’s Human Right’s Board looks to add “Housing Status” to that list.


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    “I was a little surprised by the lower number of prosecutions last year,” said Kate Boulton, a member on the board, reacting about how many crimes against homeless people were brought to the courts.

    There have been some high-profile cases, like the two teens, Timothy Chavez and Anthony Gallegos , convicted of shooting and killing Ronnie Ross in 2018. However, there are plenty more cases that don’t make the headlines. At a city meeting Thursday, the Albuquerque Human Rights Board discussed a resolution that would make attacks and discrimination on homeless people a hate crime. Supporters of the proposal say it would strengthen those cases, which the board says are often falling through the cracks- especially if the charge is a misdemeanor.

    “If I have a misdemeanor, that doesn’t rise to the level of felony, that involves somebody that is homeless, currently there’s no mechanism for the officer to enhance that charge,” said Albuquerque Police Deputy Chief J.J. Griego.

    The resolution the board is considering would ramp up penalties for any crime if the victim was targeted for being homeless. How much those penalties would increase is still under consideration. If passed by the board, the resolution would need to go before Albuquerque City Council to be approved. Officials are hopeful this will encourage more homeless victims to report crimes committed against them.

    “It’s likely something that’s very underreported,” Deputy Chief J.J. Griego added.

    The city is hosting a hearing this Saturday with testimonies from homeless people about their experiences. The board is expected to discuss the proposal again next month.

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