NYPD, FBI encourage reporting of anti-Asian crimes in new joint campaign

"We need all New Yorkers to help to stop these hateful acts," said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea

By Joseph Ostapiuk
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The NYPD and FBI launched a joint public service announcement Wednesday to encourage the reporting of anti-Asian hate crimes amid a coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has prompted an increase in bias incidents against the Asian community.

Authorities encourage New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, to report any hate crime incident — vowing the crimes will be thoroughly investigated.

New York City police Commissioner Dermot Shea speaks Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
New York City police Commissioner Dermot Shea speaks Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

"NYPD detectives work around the clock to prevent anti-Asian hate crimes from occurring, and vigorously investigate them if they do," said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. "We need all New Yorkers to help to stop these hateful acts."

Year-to-date, data shows anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 395% — rising from 104 incidents over the past 12 months compared to 21 during the previous year.

The public service announcements, released in English, Korean, Tagalog, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese, will be posted on the NYPD and FBI social media channels.

"We must continue to work together, with our federal partners and community members, to ensure safe communities for everyone," said Shea. "This public awareness campaign is another way we can reach New Yorkers and stop hate."

Earlier this year, Staten Island members of the Asian-American community held a vigil in Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Livingston to honor the lives lost to anti-Asian violence. Staten Islanders expressed that anti-Asian sentiment is not a new phenomenon but has rather been magnified amid the pandemic.

While anti-Asian incidents have not been reported on Staten Island, District Attorney Michael E. McMahon organized a bipartisan group of borough elected officials who condemned the citywide rise of hate crimes.

"This behavior is cruel, it is ignorant, it is disgraceful, and we are here today to take a stand and deliver a clear message that there is no place for hate on Staten Island or any part of New York City," said McMahon during the press conference.

The FBI called on everyday New Yorkers to help reduce the surge.

"We each have a role to play to reverse the trends we've seen in New York City and beyond — let's set the example," said FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. "Pay attention to what's going on around you and do what's right. You may be surprised how big of a role you can play in keeping our communities safe."

(c)2021 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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