Ohio proposal would label neo-Nazi groups terrorists

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In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, James Alex Fields Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. Fields was later charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he plowed a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. […]

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) – Police in Ohio would be directed to recognize white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations under a state legislative proposal.

The resolution was introduced Thursday by Democratic state Rep. David Leland, of Columbus. It follows a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman was killed.

The measure would enable law enforcement to pursue such groups’ activities and whereabouts with the resources and attention devoted to domestic terrorist groups. Illinois recently passed a similar measure.

Republican President Donald Trump has been criticized for insisting blame for the rally’s bloodshed must be shared on “both sides.”

Leland acknowledged free speech is a “bedrock value” of America but argued such groups violate foundational national principles of “liberty and justice for all.”

The proposal’s fate in the Republican-dominated House is unclear.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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