Does the White House consider the murder of Timothy Caughman a hate crime? Apparently not.
The 66-year-old man was killed on St. Patrick’s Day by James Harris Jackson, an Army vet who drove from Baltimore to New York City specifically to kill Black people.
As investigators searched for a motive, Jackson’s hate for Black people and his intent to cause them harm became very clear. He was arraigned on Thursday in Supreme Court in Manhattan and charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime.
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His actions were the very definition of a hate crime, condemned by both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
But when Sean Spicer was asked about the crime during his Monday press briefing, he dodged labeling it a hate crime. He instead went into the defense about the rise in anti-Semitic crimes, the New York Daily News reports.
Citing President Donald Trump’s recent meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus last week, The White House press secretary claimed that the president was ready to “unite the country.”
After acknowledging that he wasn't aware of the killing of Caughman, Spicer used the opportunity to talk about the outcome of the case surrounding the bomb threats towards Jewish communities and the rise of anti-Semitic actions throughout the country following Trump’s election.
“There's no question Black and white, we need to call out all instances,” he said. “But I do think there's been a rush to judgment on some of the anti-Semitic cases.”
It’s not the type of message we want to hear from the president when the killing of Caughman was a clear hate crime and a threat to the Black community.