The slaying in Manhattan of an elderly black man, allegedly by a white supremacist, is “terrorism,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday morning.
Speaking on his weekly #AskTheMayor radio program, de Blasio likened the repeated stabbing of Timothy Caughman, 66, to the 2015 shootings in South Carolina of nine churchgoers, this week’s attack in London the killed four and other terrorist attacks.
“Look, this is domestic, racist terrorism. There’s no question,” de Blasio said of Caughman’s killing. “It is the equivalent of what happened in Charleston at the church, which was one of the most horrible incidents that’s occurred in this nation in many years — a racially motivated act of domestic terrorism.”
Police say James Harris Jackson, a military veteran from Maryland, traveled to the city to target black men.
Jackson was arraigned Thursday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan and charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime. He was ordered held without bail.
De Blasio said that in the aftermath of the London attack the NYPD had “reinforced immediately” cultural and government institutions related to Britain.
“We’ll look at this incident and decide if there’s further actions we have to take,” he said.
Separately, de Blasio defended his decision to depart abruptly from his own news conference Thursday because reporters asked about Caughman’s slaying when de Blasio had called the event to discuss a tax he wants imposed on home sales above $2 million.
“The reporters didn’t have a single question about a tax on the wealthy,” de Blasio said Friday. “It would help 25,000 senior citizens. If they’re more interested in other matters, that’s their prerogative.”