SANDY SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL APPROVES RESOLUTION ENCOURAGING GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO ENACT STATEWIDE HATE CRIME LEGISLATION
The City of Sandy Springs was one of the first cities in Georgia to enact a Hate Crimes Ordinance, when it adopted the law in July 2019. At its Tuesday night meeting, the Sandy Springs City Council passed a Resolution calling on the Georgia General Assembly to enact similar legislation. Georgia is one of only a few states without such a measure.
“We want to be clear that crimes precipitated by hate and intolerance are not acceptable in our community. These acts are not only harmful to the individuals in which they are directed, but also to the very values which are pillars of our community. Embracing the diversity that exists and working as one community will make us a stronger, more vibrant and a better community,” said Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul.
The Resolution reiterates that the City of Sandy Springs is inclusive of all, irrespective of (and without limitation of) race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or physical or mental disability. The Mayor and City Council affirm that hate in all its forms that comes because of expressions of hatred are not tolerated.
The City’s Hate Crime Ordinance passed in 2019 does not affect “hate speech” but does affect City ordinances related to public order, including vandalism; disorderly conduct; public urination and defecation; loitering and prowling; creating a disturbance and littering, increasing penalties if a court rule that the victim was targeted to hate or bias based.
Since enacted, the City has not been presented with a case that would enact the City’s Hate Crimes Ordinance.