Connecticut Democrats in the state’s Senate have proposed creating a new state police department that would be tasked with specifically combating “far-right” extremism.
The proposal, which was unveiled Wednesday as part of the state Senate Democrats’ “A Just Connecticut” agenda, would publicly fund a new state police department that specializes in investigating “far-right extremist groups and individuals,” according to a news release.
Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney said the proposal is aimed at combating “potential” hate crimes but stressed that his caucus has no intention of persecuting people for their political beliefs, the Hartford Courant reported.
“Unfortunately, people who entertain hateful beliefs … are protected as long as [those beliefs] don’t result in hate-crime actions. That’s what we’re talking about,” Mr. Looney told reporters Wednesday. “We want to be more aggressive in enforcing our laws and identifying likely sources of potential domestic terrorism acts against religious institutions and ethnic institutions.”
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, a Republican, said there is “strong bipartisan support against any type of terrorism” but he took issue with the proposal only mentioning right-wing extremism.
“When they put a right-wing label on extremism, they do that to elicit a political response,” he said, the Hartford Courant reported.
PJ Media noted that federal authorities in recent years classified activities by antifa, the left-wing militant movement, as “domestic terrorist violence.”