Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, who seem perpetually on the verge of main eventing SummerSlam at the Barclays Center, put their differences aside this morning and announced that in the wake of a bomb threat against the Jewish Children's Museum, the city and state were teaming up to offer a new cash reward for anyone who had information that led to an arrest and conviction in a suspected hate crime.
According to a joint press release from the two officials, the city and state have partnered to increase the reward offered for information leading to a hate crimes conviction from $5,000 to $20,000. "The recent spate of threats against our Jewish community are threats against all of us. Those directed at children are particularly disturbing. As New Yorkers, we stand united in the face of cowardly tactics designed to frighten, disrupt and divide us," de Blasio said in a statement announcing the reward.
“The Statue of Liberty holds the torch high in New York’s Harbor, an eternal reminder that our state will always be the beacon for tolerance and acceptance. We have zero tolerance for intolerance, and I encourage all New Yorkers to report any instance of hate, bias or discrimination," Cuomo said in a statement.
On top of the bomb threat against the Jewish Children's Museum yesterday, a bomb threat was also called into the Jewish Association Services for the Aged in Midwood this morning. John Miller, the head of the NYPD's intelligence unit, told CBS this morning that the department believes a single person using a spoofing device to hide their identity is behind the majority of the calls.
100 hate crimes have been reported in New York City since the beginning of 2017 according to the press release, which is more than twice as many reported hate crimes than in the same period in 2016. Last year, through mid-November, there was a 31.5 percent increase in bias crimes when compared to the same time period in 2015.
In addition to the increased reward that's being offered, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and 17 other senators sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security head General John Kelly asking him to "increase federal funds programmed to the Nonprofit Security Grant Program" and give it $50 million in funding. The NSGP provides funding for security enhancements for non-profits that are under a high threat of terrorist attack.
In the letter asking for the funding, Gillibrand and the other senators mentioned the 100 threats to JCCs around the country and the instances of Jewish cemetery vandalism nationwide, in addition to cases like a violent bigot who shot a Sikh man in Seattle after yelling at him to "go back to your country" and an incident in Dearborn, Michigan in which someone called a mosque and told someone there that Muslims should "be eradicated."