DENVER (CBS4)– The City of Denver will be able to prosecute racist graffiti as a hate crime after the city council approved the measure on Monday night.

Swastikas were found carved into the paint of vehicles in a neighborhood near the University of Denver earlier this month.

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Before the city council’s actions, a crime like that could only be prosecuted as a property crime.

(credit: CBS)

The new ordinance changes that.