Seal of Little Rock

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2020

City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

Media Releases

Contact(s): L. Lamor Williams, APR | (c) 501 804 4822 | (e) Stephanie Jackson | (c) 501 539 3960 | (e)

Board Passes Hate-Crimes Ordinance Making Little Rock First in Arkansas With Such a Law

On Tuesday, Little Rock became the first city in Arkansas to adopt a hate-crimes ordinance that enhances penalties for crimes that target individuals because of their race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

The City Board of Directors unanimously approved the measure at Tuesday’s board meeting. Such crimes now carry fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense; jail time of 30 days, 90 days or one year or a combination of fines and jail time. Offenders will be required to undergo supervised release for up to a year. The ordinance is applicable to people 18 or older.

Arkansas is one of four states that does not have statewide legislation addressing hate crimes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. said he hopes the Little Rock ordinance will serve as inspiration for other Arkansas municipalities.

“I want to thank City Director Kathy Webb for her leadership on this issue,” Scott said. “This legislation recognizes the value of every person as we work to unite Little Rock. I hope other cities will see it as a model and follow suite.”   

About the City of Little Rock’s Response to COVID-19
Residents may visit for all information about the City’s efforts related to COVID-19, including the newly created Small Business Emergency Assistance Program. Volunteers are needed to assist with the grab-and-go feeding efforts for vulnerable populations, including students and seniors. Sign up at The Little Rock Cares Emergency Relief Fund benefits the grab-and-go feeding effort and the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE). Donations of PPE are also accepted. Donate here or visit and click on the Little Rock Cares Emergency Relief Fund button. Follow the City of Little Rock on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CityLittleRock.