Re-Examining the Definitions of Hate Crime and Terrorism

Erroll - Hate - Terror - NBC - Jul21Dr. Erroll Southers, TAL Global’s Managing Director, Counter-Terrorism & Infrastructure Protection, and USC’s Director of Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies in the Safe Communities Institute of the Sol Price School of Public Policy, was interviewed recently on Rev. Al Sharpton’s “PoliticsNation With Al Sharpton” (NBC News), where he proposed that the recent massacre in Charleston, South Carolina clearly qualifies as a terrorist attack.

This view challenges the current perspective of many in the law enforcement community, who see such incidents as hate crimes rather than terrorist attacks.

Dr. Southers said that: “There are three things we really need to think about [regarding] terrorism. We need to think about the threat or the use of violence, we need to look at whether the targets of those violent acts are civilians, and then we need to determine whether or not a political objective was met.”

The different definitions and classifications are not only  a semantic issue; they reflect directly on the type, character and nature of the treatment accorded to such events – from state and federal resources alike.

Click below to watch Dr. Southers’ interview with Rev. Al Sharpton

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