By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia officials plan to step up penalties against anyone who defaces or damages any of the city’s war memorials or other monuments.

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Mayor Nutter promised on Memorial Day to step up penalties for those who damage war memorials or other institutional markers. And later that week, he submitted to Council a measure to do exactly that. The bill was introduced by Councilman at large David Oh.

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“Unfortunately, there has been defacing of memorials and other places — especially by skateboarders and young people who probably mean no harm, and some that actually do [mean harm], who do graffiti and other things,” Oh explains.

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The proposal does two things: It creates a new penalty specifically for incidents of vandalism to monuments and works of art, and it steps up the minimum penalties for incidents of damage to such sites that may involve ethnic intimidation. The plan will be reviewed in Council committee.