ALBANY — In response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a law Tuesday that would make rioting targeted against a protected class a hate crime.
The Democrat’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 current hate crime law covers those targeted for a crime 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.
Neither Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) nor Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) commented immediately.
Cuomo also called for amending the state’s human rights law to add protections for public school students against discrimination.
On Monday, he signed legislation that increases penalties for those who make bomb threats against community centers.