Attorney General Herring proposes resources to protect Virginians from hate crimes

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RICHMOND (WSLS 10) - Attorney General Mark Herring announces ways to tackle hate crimes in the Commonwealth.

Herring says he's proposing new legislation to give prosecutors the authority to prosecute and investigate hate crimes in Virginia.

He also says he plans to update the state's definition of a hate crime to include disability, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.

This will closely match the federal definition of a hate crime.

Herring said, "These are common sense steps that will allow us to support and complement the work of our Commonwealth's Attorneys and local law enforcement to keep communities safe and to enforce hate crime statues."

He says he plans to launch a website as a resource for people and communities feeling vulnerable. The site will feature information on hate crimes and illegal discrimination.