Hate incidents, rising in NYC, cover an array of crimes

The crest on the jacket of a New York City police officer while on patrol.
The crest on the jacket of a New York City police officer while on patrol. Photo Credit: Nicole Horton

As reported hate crimes continue to plague the city, particularly incidents targeting Jewish New Yorkers, the police commissioner and mayor said they will take additional steps to curb the incidents. 

The NYPD’s crime statistics for the month of May, released on Tuesday, show 35,095 crimes reported so far this year — 2,310 fewer crimes than the same period in 2018. The police, however, found an increase in reported hate crimes, with 184 incidents reported in 2019 as of June 2, up from 112 incidents during the same period last year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio noted that the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes jumped from 58 by the end of May 2018 to 110 by end of last month. While concerning, he and Police Commissioner James O’Neill emphasized that they will be pushing for arrests and prosecutions of perpetrators.

"I believe in consequences. I believe that one of the best ways to get to people is to show there are real serious consequences if they bring harm to others," de Blasio said.

O’Neill said hate crime related arrests were up 19% this year. NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said the offenses included "criminal mischief, property damage or graffiti." 

He added that the types of people arrested don’t fit any particular pattern. 

"I’ve seen people who have clearly have mental illness, I’ve seen children… I’ve seen individuals who have never crossed our paths and I’ve seen career criminals," Shea said.

In addition to increased police enforcement, the mayor said his office is reaching out to community leaders to help them address the rise in hate facing their members. He said he will speed up the opening of the City Office of Hate Crime Prevention from November to this summer in order to address concerns over the rise in incidents.

The office will coordinate with several parts of city government including the NYPD, City Commission on Human Rights, Department of Education, and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to come up with strategies to educate the public and help hate crime victims.

"It is a horrible experience what happens and we want to make sure they have support," de Blasio said. 

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