In response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed legislation Tuesday to make rioting targeted at protected classes of people a hate crime.
Cuomo’s proposal would add another provision to New York’s hate crimes law already on the books. It would make it a felony to riot, or incite a riot, when the activity is targeted at a protected class of people.
The state’s hate crime law protects those targeted based on their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
“The ugly events that took place in Charlottesville must never be repeated, and in New York we’re going to stand united against hate in all of its forms,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“Our diversity is our strength and this legislation will help protect New Yorkers and send a clear signal that violence and discrimination have no place in our society,” Cuomo said.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), said he’d review Cuomo’s proposal. Heastie said the “intolerance and violence that took place in Charlottesville last weekend are a tragic chapter in our nation’s history.”
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) did not comment immediately.
Cuomo also called for amending the state’s human rights law to add protections against discrimination for public school students.
On Monday, Cuomo signed legislation that increases penalties for those who make bomb threats against community centers.