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N.Y. to add state troopers to hate crime task force following spike in antisemitic crime

“If anyone thinks that they can get away with spreading hate and harming other New Yorkers and violating the law, you will be caught,” the governor said

N.Y. to add state troopers to hate crime task force following spike in antisemitic crime

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul holds a roundtable on hate crimes and public safety on Nov. 13, 2023, in New York City.

Susan Watts/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul/TNS

By Tim Balk
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Responding to a swell in antisemitic hate crimes, New York State will deploy more state cops to the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force’s offices in New York, Gov. Hochul said Monday.

Hochul, a Buffalo Democrat, directed $2.5 million to the New York State Police to support its plan to embed an additional 10 investigators in the FBI’s counterterrorism task force’s offices in New York City, Albany and Rochester, according to the governor’s office.

Eight of the investigators will be placed in the city’s Joint Terrorism Task Force offices and one each will go to the upstate cities, Hochul’s office said. There were about 30 state cops working with the task force before the additions, according to the governor’s office.

New York City is home to about 1.6 million Jews, according to the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. The city’s Jewish temples have been on high alert — and blanketed by law enforcement — since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, unleashing a bloody war.

Citing a 214% increase in antisemitic hate crimes in the city since Oct. 7, Hochul said in a Manhattan news conference that “the rising level of hate, and antisemitism in particular, poses a clear and present danger to the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers.”

“The day that Hamas attacked,” Hochul said, “the rise in hate crimes began instantaneously.”

But she added that law enforcement has ramped up its efforts to secure places of travel for the holidays and to analyze digital spheres where hate speech can fester.

“If anyone thinks that they can get away with spreading hate and harming other New Yorkers and violating the law, you will be caught,” the governor declared. “You will be caught here in the State of New York, because we are ramping up our resources to ensure that everyone can live freely.”

Last month, a 21-year-old Cornell student was charged with threatening to shoot up the site of his school’s Center for Jewish Living. If convicted, the student faces up to 5 years in prison.

The state police and the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated the case, which shocked the Ivy League campus and prompted state cops to watch over the Jewish life organization.

Lt. Col. Andy Crowe of the state police declined to describe individual cases, but said the number of investigations being pursued by the state police and the Joint Terrorism Task Force had “increased exponentially” since Oct. 7.

“We are very active,” Crowe said at the news conference.

Last month, Hochul delivered an address outlining a series of anti-hate state efforts, including a $75 million investment toward the prevention of hate crimes and an expansion of the state police unit that monitors threats on social media.

“We will get through this together,” Hochul said Monday. “I am confident. But we also make sure that we protect the well-being of our citizens.”

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