Attorney general to appeal hate crime ruling on racist rant

RI Attorney General Peter Neronha. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s attorney general plans to appeal a judge’s decision that a woman did not commit a hate crime when she directed a profanity-laced rant at a Black family.

Christine Longo, who is white, was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct Tuesday for yelling at the East Providence family of four in June 2020 at a Narragansett restaurant.

The judge said he didn’t have the authority to apply the state’s hate-crime enhancement, which could have meant a harsher sentence.

Attorney General Peter Neronha said he disagreed with the judge and will appeal to the Superior Court and, if necessary, seek a change to state law.