St. Louis Suburb Considering Anti-Hate-Crime Resolution


(JTA) — The city council of a suburb of St. Louis is considering an anti-hate crime resolution which would create  a database of hate crime offenders.

The resolution was introduced to the University City council on Monday by Councilman Rod Jennings.

Jennings told local media he had been considering introducing such legislation since November, long before the vandalism attack in University City’s Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, in which 154 headstones were knocked over or damaged.

The  resolution would create a hate crime database system similar to a sex offender registry. Anyone who has been convicted of a hate crime that moves into or out of University City would be in a database for all citizens to access.

Police still have not identified any suspects in the case, nor have they definitively decided to label the attack as a hate crime.

“I think it is important that we know they are living close to our schools and our children, close to our resident and our homes, close to every mosque synagogue and church,” Jennings told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. “We would want to know if someone who was a proven hate crime offender is in our community and we would want our neighboring community to know they are leaving or community and moving into theirs.”

The city council  will vote on the measure at its regular meeting in two weeks on March 13.