Union Square, Midtown rallies aim to fight hate crimes after stabbing

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Two Friday rallies aimed at emphasizing the need to stop hate crimes and bring suspects to justice follow a fatal stabbing now considered a bias attack.

The demonstrations come in response to the death of Timothy Caughman, who police said was stabbed to death with a sword by a white supremacist in Midtown Manhattan Monday night.

Authorities said 28-year-old James Harris Jackson, who is from Maryland, walked into the NYPD substation in Times Square Tuesday and announced he was wanted in the stabbing.

Detectives said Jackson has a hatred of black people, specifically black men, and allegedly wrote a manifesto about attacking African-American men on a laptop he brought with him to New York City.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the Anti-Defamation League hosted a noontime rally at West 36th Street and Ninth Avenue to "denounce the brutal murder of Timothy Caughman."

"This was not just murder," said Albert Kahn, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). "This was not just a hate crime. This was terrorism."

Another demonstration at 6 p.m. Friday in Union Square was followed by a march to the spot where Caughman was killed. The group then held a moment of silence for him and other hate crime victims.

"Many communities have been attacked in the era of Trump, from Muslims, transfolks, Black people and the Jewish community," read a Facebook statement publicizing the event. "We say no. We must stand up for our city."

The announcement reiterates a common theme felt among the demonstrators, that the rise in hate crimes is linked to the rise of President Donald Trump.

"What he's done is activated cells in this country that have existed for centuries but under past administrations had felt themselves relegated to being in the shadows," City Councilman Robert Cornegy said. "His rhetoric has brought them from the shadows."

The rally, dubbed an "Emergency action to say Enough is Enough," is being led by Resist Here, Women's March on Washington and Justice League NYC, among others.

Many stressed the importance of minority groups coming together during this time.

"Every community that's targeted is my community," CAIR's Afaf Nasher said. "And I stand here, perhaps within the sorrow, but also in defiance and resistance of the hatred and bigotry that wants to overwhelm us. And I reject it."
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