North Carolina lawmakers are planning on reintroducing hate crimes legislation this session. This comes after eight people, most of them Asian women, were killed in Atlanta this week.
Democratic Sen. Jay Chaudhuri is one of the only Asian Americans ever elected to the North Carolina General Assembly. Chaudhuri has filed a hate crime bill every session he's served in the state Senate, with none of them coming to fruition.
Now he will be joined by two other state Senators in refiling the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a version of which will also be presented in the House.
Previous versions of the bill were inspired in part by the 2015 murders of three young Muslim people in Chapel Hill by their white neighbor.
Chaudhuri tells The News & Observer that while the Atlanta shootings have not officially been deemed a hate crime, Asian Americans have faced a long history of discrimination.
The Senate bill would create a hate crimes database, expand protections against hate crimes, and increase the penalty for those crimes. It would also require training for police and prosecutors to better understand what constitutes a hate crime.