Mayor Fischer calls for stronger state hate crime law, announces Moment of Unity

October 29, 2018

At a press conference this afternoon sponsored by the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition to stand against hate, Mayor Greg Fischer reminded the community of work being done to fight hate and violence in our city, while also calling for a stronger state hate crime law and tightening gun laws related to domestic violence cases.

“Last week we had horrific hate crimes in our community, as well as at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, and we’re still reeling from it and grieving,” Mayor Fischer said.  “But we’re also taking action, mindful that we must continue to work together as a community – one proudly diverse, welcoming city – to ensure all our fellow human beings are safe, healthy and able to reach their full potential. My administration was already working to tackle tough issues like violence, divisiveness and hate before this happened, and we won’t stop until everyone understands that we’re in this together, and our individual worlds are stronger when we all thrive.”

The Mayor outlined initiatives already taken or under way, including Louisville Metro Government’s participation in Government Alliance for Racial Equity; implementation of implicit bias training for all employees; the city’s six-point violence reduction plan; support for Marsy’s law, a constitutional amendment that will give crime victims equal rights and help them navigate a complex legal system; removal of a Confederate monument and plans to move the Castleman statue; as well as mental health services for trauma survivors.

Mayor Fischer also outlined steps he will take to improve the state’s hate crime law.  “I will be working with members of the state Legislature and Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine to change our state hate crimes law to make it more meaningful and strengthen the penalties for horrific crimes, such as homicides, which currently are not covered,” Mayor Fischer said. 

In addition, Mayor Fischer said his team will take the following steps:

  • As part of his state legislative agenda, Mayor Fischer he will work with the General Assembly to codify federal law prohibiting the purchase of firearms by individuals with a domestic violence order to ensure enforcement. He will also support efforts for a Red Flag Law, which allows family members or law enforcement officers to petition a judge for a “gun violence restraining order” or an “extreme risk protection order” against someone who appears to potentially cause harm to themselves or someone else.
  • Over the last several months, the Fischer administration has been preparing Lean Into Louisville, a multi-prong initiative aimed at expanding education and community conversation about our nation’s true history of discrimination, in all its forms. It will be launched in January.
  • LMPD will continue to offer active shooter training to houses of faith throughout the community.
  • Continue implementation of the city’s Equity plan, which seeks to strengthen government practices and policies to make our community more equitable.

Mayor Fischer also announced a Moment of Unity for Wednesday, which will be a time for reflection of the tragedy we have suffered and the actions we must take, and a rejection of hate.  More details will be announced tomorrow.