Amid a national debate about racism, extremism and mass shootings, governor Andrew Cuomo proposed to make New York the first state to classify “hate-fuelled” killings as domestic terrorism on Thursday.
“Today, our people are three times more likely to suffer a terrorist attack launched by an American than one launched by a foreigner,” he said.
Acts of domestic terrorism have instead been prosecuted under different charges, such as attempting to “destroy a building in interstate commerce”.
New York’s new law, by contrast, would specify that domestic terrorism included acts of mass violence against people for their identities.
“White supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-LGBTQ, white nationalists: these are Americans committing mass hate crimes against other Americans,” Mr Cuomo said.
The governor also called on congress to enact a new federal domestic terrorism law.
“I think all states should have domestic terrorism statutes, it’s a good thing for them to have, but it hasn’t really moved the ball significantly.”. »