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.