JAY CHAUDHURI RE-INTRODUCES NC HATE CRIME BILL AFTER ATLANTA SHOOTINGS: "If we wish to pursue a perfect union in this state, then we must confront and take on the often dark and ugly side of our democracy," said Chaudhuri, who has sponsored each of the last two bills and is behind this one as well. "Responding to hate crimes must be a priority because they impact all of us," agreed Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg. "Hate crimes not only have an impact on one victim, but they also terrorize and isolate a victim’s whole community, and that weakens public safety for all of us." The bill would increase the punishment for any crime if it's determined a person was targeted because of his or her "race, ethnicity, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or sexual orientation." It also would create a statewide database of such crimes – reporting hate crimes by law enforcement agencies is currently voluntary, but it would become mandatory – and provide more training for law enforcement officers and district attorneys to respond to and prosecute cases.