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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 20, 2016 03:17 PM
From: Representative David H. Zimmerman
To: All House members
Subject: Ethnic Intimidation Statute - Expansion to Include Police, Fire and EMS Personnel
Pennsylvania’s Ethnic Intimidation statute, Crimes Code, Title 18 Section 2710, establishes a separate offense when an actor commits a personal injury crime or other specific offense that is motivated by the actor’s malicious intent toward the victim’s race, color, religion or national origin. An ethnic intimidation offense is classified as a misdemeanor of the third degree if the underlying offense is a summary. Otherwise the classification is one degree higher than the classification of the other offense.

In the recent past, we have witnessed an increased targeting of first responders –police, firefighters and emergency medical services providers – simply because of their service on the front lines, protecting our citizens. This is intolerable and I believe we should extend the same additional protection we now provide to crimes motivated by hatred of a person’s race, religion or ethnicity to crimes motivated by the victim’s service in a police department, professional or volunteer fire department or emergency medical services provider. I therefore intend to introduce legislation which will expand Section 2710 of the Crimes Code to include those classes of victims and invite you to join me by co-sponsoring this legislation.

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Introduced as HB2268