Suffolk exec calls for tougher hate crime laws

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy wants a change in the way bias crimes are handled.

Minority leaders are outraged that many hate crimes in Suffolk are only elevated to harassment charges. Last week, a student at H.B. Ward Vocational Center in Riverhead said three white classmates brought in a black action figure with a noose around its neck, which they hung on the classroom door. Those students were only charged with harassment and not a bias crime.

Levy says the state Legislature needs to toughen bias crime laws so local police departments can take the appropriate action.

Related story Riverhead student says he and classmate racially harassed

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