Civil Rights Teams Urge Warning In Home Terrorism Crackdown

Dozens of right-wing extremist groups live in the mountain west. Following the January 6th riot in the U.S. Capitol, lawmakers are considering how to protect the nation from domestic terrorism. Some have pushed for Congress to bring new domestic terrorism charges.

But this week 135 civil rights organizations spoke out against the extension of legal authority over terrorism.

“We fear that a new federal law or list of national terrorism would adversely affect civil rights and – like our nation’s long and troubling history of targeting black activists, Muslims, Arabs and social and racial justice movements, has shown – this new authority could do so. ” used to expand racial profiling or to monitor and investigate color communities and political opponents on behalf of national security, “the groups wrote.

After September 11th, lawmakers added a criminal definition of domestic terrorism, but – and this is a huge but – you cannot be charged with this specific crime. There are no penalties.

Becky Monroe, Fighting Hate and Bias Program Director for the Nonprofit Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a signatory to the letter, would like to continue doing so.

“We know that these allegations, while well-intentioned, are ultimately used in ways that actually harm the same communities that oppose hatred and violence,” she said. “These types of charges can actually be brought against black and brown communities and Muslim communities. Instead of making us safer, they could put more lives at risk.”

Monroe adds that there are already robust laws in place that the federal government can use to prosecute and prosecute domestic terrorists who orchestrated a violent riot earlier this month.

A non-partisan group of lawmakers reintroduced a law designed to step up federal law enforcement efforts to prevent and respond to incidents of domestic terrorism without re-indicting, which Monroe supports.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, and KUNM in New Mexico , with the support of partner stations in the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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