Applebee's assault spurs new hate crime bill in Minnesota

The Minnesota Senate judiciary committee has passed a bill that would increase the maximum penalty by 25 percent for felony assaults that are determined to be a hate crime.

The October, Asma Jama was struck with a beer mug by another customer at Applebee’s in Coon Rapids, Minn. because she was speaking Swahili. The anoka County attorney’s office charged the case as felony third-degree assault instead of a hate crime because the maximum penalty for hate crimes is only a gross misdemeanor.

Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) said the incident motivated him to write a new law that would allow an extra hate crime penalty on felony charges.

FIRST REPORT - Applebee's customer attacked for speaking Swahili