Statement by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., on Proposed Expansion on of State Hate Crime Law

August 15, 2017

“I applaud Governor Cuomo’s swift response to the events in Charlottesville by announcing legislation today to add rioting or inciting a riot to New York’s Hate Crime statute. Domestic terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists and neo-Nazis has no place in this city, and will be prosecuted by this office. 

“There are certain violent acts that are intended not just to target or victimize one person, but to terrorize an entire community. The ability to bring criminal charges as an ‘Act of Terrorism’ or as a Hate Crime is not possible in every state, but it should be. In the wake of the despicable violence in Charlottesville, I urge other states to follow the Governor’s example and examine their own laws and seek ways to strengthen them. Prosecutors around the country need the strongest tools available to them to deter acts of hate and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

In March, James Jackson was charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Murder in the First and Second Degrees As an Act of Terrorism, and Murder in the Second Degree As a Hate Crime, among other charges, for fatally stabbing a black man in Midtown.