Washington lawmakers are facing opposition to a bill targeting violent gang-related crimes.
Attorney General Rob McKenna proposed the bill as part of his efforts to help law enforcement combat violent gang activity. The bill increases sentences for gang-related felonies involving minors and allows prosecutors to file protection orders against gang members.
But the proposal is opposed by civil rights groups who are concerned about discrimination from law enforcement. Several minority-rights groups are testifying against the bill.
The groups say the bill would unfairly target youths – especially from communities of color – for injunction without proof of criminal activity.
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The bill’s chief sponsor is Republican Rep. Charles Ross of Naches.