CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City Council approved a hate crime ordinance Tuesday night.
Council passed the second and third reading of the ordinance which would punish people for bias motivated crimes.
The ordinance says people will be punished if they have the intent to intimidate another person because of their perceived race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability or national origin.
A hate intimidation violation would be an additional offense to a crime committed.
Violators could receive a fine up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.
Mayor John Tecklenburg supported the proposed ordinance . City leaders hope that a state hate crime law will follow.
According to newly released FBI data, hate crimes rose 17 percent last year.
They have been on the rise for at least the last three years, according to the report.
Police Chief Luther Reynolds said having a citywide hate crime law will help them to be able to report bias motivated crimes in the city.