ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After the events in Charlottesville over the weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made steps on Monday to try and ensure similar events do not occur in New York.
“The crime of making a bomb threat needs to have a deterrent,” Shelly Shapiro, Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY, said.
The Albany Jewish Community Center received two bomb threats earlier this year, and they were not the only ones. Strings of bomb threats have been occurring around upstate NY this year including cities like Dewitt and Brighton.
Data: Anti-Defamation League
“Putting penalties on it makes it a recognized crime.”
Legislation that was passed by the state legislature earlier this year, Gov. Cuomo signed into law on Monday creating harsher penalties for those who make bomb threats.
“So what this does is tell us is that from now on people will be punished for that crime,” Shapiro said.
“The horrific events in Charlottesville this weekend demonstrate that now, more than ever, we must stand united against bias and hate in all of its forms and this new law is one more step toward a more just and more equal New York for all,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo is not the only one from New York to speak out against the events in Charlottesville.
“This that we have seen in Charlottesville is a time that we come together and to take action and come up with plans and strategies that we can address on a local level,” Angelicia Morris, Director of Schenectady Human Rights Commission, said.
This new legislation makes it clear that individuals who falsely make bomb threats to a community center can be charged with a public order offense which is, at a minimum, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
“A bomb threat is an act of hate so I think today is a symbolic day for all of us to feel more reassured that our legislators and everyone are on our side,” Shapiro said.