Las Vegas shooting not labeled terrorism, local experts explain why

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, October 03 2017 Oct 3, 2017 Tuesday, October 03, 2017 6:30:00 PM CDT October 03, 2017 in News
By: Chris Joseph, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Las Vegas shooting tragedy left more than 50 dead and more than 500 wounded, but President Donald Trump and major news outlets have not labeled it as a terrorist attack.

The possible reasons for this vary. 

Frank Bowman is a criminal law professor at MU and said it's impossible to legally label an action terrorism until a motive has been determined. 

"The thing that really distinguishes terrorism from any other offense is not so much the nature of the conduct, it is the actual or intended effect," Bowman said. 

Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock's motive has not yet been released by investigators. 

U.S. code defines "domestic terrorism" as an act "appeared to be intended-"

  • To intimidate or coerce an civilian population;
  • To influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or 
  • To affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping

Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Knight said he would bring 1st degree murder charges against Paddock if the shooting happened in Missouri, but no charges for "terrorism."

There are no statutes or definitions in Missouri which directly address the term "terrorism;" however, terroristic threats and "agroterrorism" are both defined specifically. 

MU Journalism Law Professor Sandy Davidson said journalists need to use other adjectives with the term "terrorism" if they do eventually use it.  

"The emotional content of some terms, I think, increases the duty of journalists to make sure indeed that is the term that is applicable," she said. 

Amer Ahmed is the director of intercultural teaching and faculty development at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He spoke at MU Tuesday night on social justice issues.

Ahmed said the term "terrorism" has been used to racially profile people who look like him and white male shooters are only referred to "lone wolves."

Ahmed's website states he was born to Indian Muslim parents in Ohio. 

"We all get grouped in together, therefore suspicion comes onto people who look like me, and experiences of racial profiling and discrimination ends up being attached to people who look like me," he said.

The Las Vegas tragedy is still under investigation. 

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - Everything is free in the Fulton store From His House to Your House. The operation is 100... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:57:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
ASHLAND - A man was arrested after a car and foot chase on Tuesday. Ashland police officers said they... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:30:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is investigating a death on East Logan Street, according to police. Police received... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:26:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - Businesses in Moberly say they'll feel the effect of a new zoning measure which would require future medical... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 2:13:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired call on Hanover Boulevard Wednesday morning. Police said the... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 1:28:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - Prosecutors filed murder and child endangerment charges against a Maries County mother three days after her daughter... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 12:40:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The man accused in a 2002 rape that resurfaced after a DNA discovery years later has been found... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:43:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
AUXVASSE - Police are asking for the public's help finding 49-year-old Jeffrey Ennis, who has been accused of domestic assault.... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:05:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With elections in Columbia just weeks away, voters will have the chance to meet candidates and discuss other... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 3:30:00 AM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
OMAHA - Amtrak service between Kansas City and St. Louis has been temporarily suspended due to increase freight train traffic... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 9:59:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - Prosecutors have charged Tracy Ellis with second-degree murder and child endangerment after a Sunday night house fire... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:34:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - When Madison Lawson shops at a retail store, she tends to leave empty-handed. “I want to dress... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday plans to restructure four state agencies and promote economic development is in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 6:36:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Youth soccer games with the Jefferson City Area YMCA scheduled for Saturday are canceled due to Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 6:00:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man went on trial Tuesday in a 2002 rape case that prosecutors say was cracked with... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 4:10:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Victims of clergy sexual abuse said the Jefferson City Diocese needs to be more open about a priest... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 4:09:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools released a revised school calendar to make up five lost snow days without extending classes... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 3:54:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence was expected to visit the Midwest on Tuesday to view flooding caused... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 19 2019 Mar 19, 2019 Tuesday, March 19, 2019 3:39:00 PM CDT March 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 55°
7pm 49°
8pm 48°
9pm 47°
10pm 46°