Hate crimes are rising across the nation, and New York is no exception. Reports of hate crimes across the five boroughs have drastically increased in 2016, the NYPD reports. As of November 13th, 328 hate crimes have been committed this year, compared to 250 during the same period in 2015. That number represents a 31.5 percent uptick in bias incidents.
Attacks against New York's Muslims, Jews, persons of color and LGBTQ community have surged, James O'Neill said at a press conference Wednesday. When pressed about the oh-so-obvious connection between Donald Trump's presidential victory and freshly emboldened bigotry, O'Neill refused to explicitly connect the dots.
“There has been a lot of rhetoric, but this is New York City and we’re much better than that,” O’Neill said yesterday. “We won’t tolerate these crimes.”
The New York Post reports that year-to-date hate crimes against Muslims in New York increased from 12 to 25, and crimes against Jews have risen from 102 to 111.
Still, O'Neill stressed the NYPD staffs the "best hate crime investigators in the United States of America."
“So if you’re going to engage in behavior like this, rest assured you’ll be arrested as quickly as possible, and we’ll work with our prosecutors to make sure they’ll be prosecuted under the hate crime statutes," O'Neill said.
Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a toll-free hotline to report hate crime incidents. The number, (888) 392-3644, will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
And Anti-Defamation League Policy Director Etzion Neuer told Gothamist his organization has been fielding many reports of hate incidents since the election. But he also speculated that increased media coverage might be a factor in the spike in hate incident reports. "People might report incidents they might not otherwise, and the media starts reporting on these incidents that might not otherwise have felt newsworthy," he said. "That's not faulting media. But media plays a role in that. It can be positive, but it can also lead to what appears to be an artificial rise [in hate incidents]. We are extraordinarily careful trying to ascertain the veracity of each report."