FILE -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks about improvement plans for Penn Station and the subway system at the City University of New York, in New York, May 23, 2017. Cuomo will make a rare trip to Washington on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, to meet with Democratic members of the New York congressional delegation and the transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, as New York City suffers through an ongoing transit crisis. (Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times) ORG XMIT: XNYT182 less FILE -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks about improvement plans for Penn Station and the subway system at the City University of New York, in New York, May 23, 2017. Cuomo will make a rare trip to Washington ... more Photo: HIROKO MASUIKE Torch-bearing white nationalists rally around a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general, near the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Aug. 11, 2017. Following violent confrontations on Saturday, a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring at least 19. (Edu Bayer/The New York Times) ORG XMIT: XNYT98 less Torch-bearing white nationalists rally around a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general, near the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Aug. 11, 2017. Following violent confrontations on ... more Photo: EDU BAYER People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP) ORG XMIT: VACHA301 less People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally ... more Photo: Ryan M. Kelly Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler is escorted by police after his press conference was disrupted by protestors Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, outside City Hall in Charlottesville, Va. The previous day, a woman was killed and several others injured after the Unite the Right rally. (Andrew Shurtleff /The Daily Progress via AP) ORG XMIT: VACHA101 less Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler is escorted by police after his press conference was disrupted by protestors Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, outside City Hall in Charlottesville, Va. The previous day, a ... more Photo: Andrew Shurtleff
Cuomo proposes new hate crimes provisions post-Charlottesville
ALBANY Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he will push to add inciting to riot and rioting that targets a protected class of people to the state hate crimes statute, a response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.
Dubbed the Charlottesville Provisions, penalties for rioting and inciting to riot would be increased. Rioting under the hate crimes law would come with stiffer felony penalties, while inciting to riot under the hate crimes law would become a felony (up from a misdemeanor).
Hate crimes statute protects those who are targeted because ofa perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation.
Cuomo also called on legislators to extend human rights law protections to public school students so that the state Division of Human Rights would be able to investigate bullying, harassment or other discrimination by public school students.
A 2012 state Court of Appeals decision found that public schools are not covered under the definitions in human rights law that gives the state the ability to investigate such incidents.
"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. New York is one community and one family, and we will never stop fighting to ensure the safety and equal treatment of all New Yorkers."
Lawmakers are not set to return to the Capitol to act on legislation until January.
Since the weekend, Cuomo has been responding to the events in Charlottesville through different methods.
On Monday, he signed legislation that adds community centers to the list of public places where people who commit certain crimes, including making a false bomb threat, can face stiffer penalties. Originally crafted in response to bomb threats made to Jewish Community Centers in New York and elsewhere in the country, Cuomo said the Charlottesville violence demonstrated a need to stand against bias and hate.
On Sunday,he circulated a petition calling on President Donald Trump to "clearly and unequivocally condemn and denounce the violent protest organized by the white supremacists and neo-Nazis, including Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, with support from David Duke."
"President Trump must immediately call this for what it is no cover, no euphemisms," the petition states. "This was a terror attack by white supremacists."
Trump said Monday that those who acted criminally "in this weekend's racist violence" will be held accountable. In remarks at the White House, he singled out the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and others who "are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."
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