In the wake of the violence and act of domestic terrorism this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump should not only personally condemn expressions of white supremacy, but also activate a comprehensive response by the federal government, says Sanford School professor David Schanzer, who is also director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.
He says the response should include the following steps:
1) A comprehensive federal counterterrorism investigation of the perpetrator, in addition to the civil rights probe already announced. This investigation would include the organizations in which James Alex Fields was a member, his personal associations, and any individual that had foreknowledge of his intention to commit a violent crime;
2) A direct offer of federal assistance for localities that have decided to remove monuments honoring white supremacism and the Confederacy, including investigations of threats of violence against individuals and businesses involved in the removal process. The removals of these monuments have been approved in a democratic process and the rule of law requires that they not be frustrated by acts or threats of violence by those who oppose these actions;
3) A public statement that the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something Campaign” applies to all forms of violence, including acts of domestic terrorism by racist, anti-government, Neo-Nazi and militia groups.
David Schanzer, an associate professor of the practice at the Sanford School and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, studies counterterrorism. He is the co-author of two reports on policing and violent extremism: “Law Enforcement Assessment of the Violent Extremism Threat” and “The Challenge and Promise of Using Community Policing Strategies to Prevent Violent Extremism.” The reports are based on surveys of law enforcement agencies and interviews with community members in eight cities and sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, the research branch of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security
- Archive video interview:
Schanzer discusses policing and violent extremism
- Archive podcast:
-- Combatting violent extremism, January 2016