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Human rights ordinance targeting biased crime reports passes

August 28, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A human rights ordinance approved for a west Michigan city includes penalties for violators, including those who dial 911 to try to use police to enforce their own bigotry.

The Grand Rapids City Commission passed the updated ordinance Tuesday following months of work to develop and revise the measure, which takes effect Dec. 1.

Among the updates, the ordinance creates a rule prohibiting biased crime reporting, making it a civil infraction to call 911 on someone because of prejudice. Violators could face a $500 fine.

The ordinance also covers areas including housing, employment and public services. It includes a broad range of categories, including age, ancestry, religion, criminal record, disability, family makeup and gender identity. It also adds a retaliation section to protect individuals who bring forward complaints.

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