STATEN ISLAND — A politician who is trying to make attacking a police officer a hate crime and who called abortion "African-American genocide" has received threatening messages and packages to his home, the New York Daily News reported.
State Assemblyman Ron Castorina Jr. told the paper that he got a series of threatening messages and packages at his family's home — but doesn't think they have anything to do with his abortion statements or his proposed legislation, which he named "Blue Lives Matter" in response to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
"It has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter or anything I said publicly," Castorina told the paper.
"I can’t give any details. It’s an ongoing investigation. It’s a frightening time for my family and I, and no one in public service should have to go through this."
Castorina did not respond to a request for comment from DNAinfo New York.
The freshman lawmaker made headlines during his second speech on the Assembly floor when he called abortion "African-American genocide" before a vote on a bill.
"I urge my friends and colleagues in the African-American communities to be very, very careful about this legislation because we’re talking about African-American genocide," Castorina said in June.
"But for Roe v. Wade, the African-American community would be 36 percent larger than it currently is today."
"The impetus of this bill is a climate in this country, in this city, in this state where police officers have been targeted merely because they wear the uniform," said Castorina.
"We need to do something to deter assaulting police officers throughout the State of New York."
The bill was criticized by some who called it an "insult" to the Black Lives Matter movement and would weaken existing hate crime laws.
"Hate crime laws are founded on a person's identity, which shapes how they move and interact with the world," Councilman Jumaane Williams said in a statement.
"An occupational choice, even a courageous one that has innate dangers, simply does not fall into that realm, and placing it there does a disservice to the original intent of hate crime laws."