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KPTV/FOX12 - Family of hate crime victim looks to change senate bill to give harsher penalties in OR

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

SALEM, OR (KPTV) - The family of a black teenager killed in a murder deemed a hate crime is hoping state legislators will get tougher on hate crime laws.

The Senate Bill 577 proposes renaming intimidation crimes to bias crimes.

It also would require better tracking of bias crime incidents in the state, consider a victim's gender identity and further define a suspect's motive.

In a recent letter to legislators calling on them to make the changes by passing the bill, the parents of Larnell Bruce Jr. argued the state's law on intimidation is antiquated and allowed the man convicted of killing their son to receive a lighter sentence.

Bruce Jr. was a black 19-year-old in Aug. 2016 when he was run down and killed by a man and his girlfriend.

At a trial earlier, this year, prosecutors said Russel Courtier, who was behind the wheel when the teen was killed, is a white supremacist. (more)

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