President Trump calls for death penalty for the Uzbek immigrant who is accused of plowing his truck down one of the bike paths in New York City. The suspect killed eight people and was called a "terrorist" by the President.
The 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov was brought to a hospital after a police officer shot and then arrested him. Saipov told investigators that he was inspired by the Islamic State videos he watched. He planned the attack for a year. His statement was put in the criminal complaint that was filed against him.
"The NYC terrorist did not feel any remorse as he asked to hang ISIS’ flag inside his hospital room. The man killed eight people and badly injured 12. I SUGGEST HE GETS DEATH PENALTY!" said Pres. Trump in a tweet.
Moments after posting the tweet, ethics experts and political observers criticized the president for jeopardizing the legal case against the attacker.
Saipov was given multiple charges including violence and destruction causing eight people their lives and providing resources and material support to a terrorist organization.
Of those killed, one was a citizen of Belgium, another a resident of New York, and five were tourists from Argentina who were visiting New York as a celebration for their high school graduation anniversary.
Joon Kim, the acting attorney of Manhattan, gave out a statement and said that the maximum penalty for providing aid to terrorist organizations is life in prison. However, if Saipov is convicted for the violence that caused people their lives, then he will be eligible for the capital punishment.
Of course, this will only happen if the government wants to impose the death penalty. According to Kim, different or additional charges will be brought in later during the indictment.
Saipov confessed that he conducted a trial run using a rental truck on October 22th in order to perfect the turning of the vehicle. The complaint stated that Saipov said he felt good about what he did.
The charging document revealed that the attacker waived his constitutional rights to avoid self-incrimination and to remain silent. The complaint also said that Saipov requested permission to put up the ISIS flag inside his hospital room.
Investigators found many propaganda videos and images that were all related to ISIS on the smartphone that belonged to Saipov. The smartphone even had video clips where the prisoners of ISIS were beheaded before being shot and ran over by tanks.
The FBI stated that they have located another man from Uzbekistan, Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, who is wanted for questioning about the attack.
The law enforcement officials, who spoke anonymously because the investigation is still ongoing, said that Saipov was in contact with FBI's person of interest, Kadirov, as well as another man who is still unknown.
The assault was the deadliest in NYC since September 11, 2001, when suicide hijackers crashed two jetliners into NYC's World Trade Center, causing the deaths of more than 2,500 people.