By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced an increase in the reward amount –to a joint State-City $20,000 reward from the State’s current $5,000 – for any information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime.
The increased amount follows a significant uptick in reported hate crimes and anti-Semitism in New York and across the nation – including a bomb threat earlier Friday at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn and last week at the Anti-Defamation League in Manhattan.
“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,” Cuomo said. “We have zero tolerance for intolerance, and I encourage all New Yorkers to report any instance of hate, bias or discrimination. We will continue to aggressively work with our federal and local partners to hold those responsible accountable to the fullest extent of the law, keep our communities safe, and uphold our core values of diversity and inclusion.”
According to the administration, reported hate crime incidents in the state have dramatically increased over the last five months. More than 100 alleged hate crimes have been reported in the five boroughs since the beginning of 2017 – more than double the number of reported incidents over the same period last year. The number of incidents reported outside of the city in November and December of 2016 also doubled, compared to the same period in 2015.
Year to date, hate crimes in the Big Apple are up nearly 115 percent, while anti-Semitic crimes have spiked nearly 200 percent. De Blasio said that in addition to growing the size of the City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the growing number of bomb threats, Neighborhood Coordination Officers and individual precinct Commanding Officers have stepped up neighborhood policing efforts, visiting community centers and cultural institutions with greater frequency to determine if and where additional security resources are required. Security cameras will be added and upgraded to select locations as part of the NYPD’s ongoing security efforts, the mayor added.
“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. “I’m proud to join forces with the governor as we work with our local, state and federal partners in law enforcement to see that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice. The NYPD is the finest police force in the world and I have no doubt those responsible for these incidents will not be able to hide in the shadows for long.”
According to de Blasio and Cuomo, New Yorkers who have experienced bias or discrimination are encouraged to call the State’s toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, or text “HATE” to 81336. New Yorkers may also call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.