Gov. Cuomo Announces Bias Crime Hotline Amid Reports of Swastikas, Racist Graffiti - NBC New York

Gov. Cuomo Announces Bias Crime Hotline Amid Reports of Swastikas, Racist Graffiti



    Swastika in Crown Heights

    Neighbors were horrified and police are investigating a swastika in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. Lori Bordonaro reports. (Published Monday, Nov. 14, 2016)

    What to Know

    • Gov. Cuomo set up a toll-free hotline for New Yorkers to report instances of bias crime in the state.

    • It comes amid reports of bias crimes and discrimination across the state following Election Day

    • There have been similar incidents across the U.S. since Trump was elected, but cops don't know what motivated the spray-painter in Brooklyn

    New Yorkers who have seen instances of bias crimes and discrimination can now call in reports with a toll-free hotline.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the hotline Tuesday amid an apparent uptick in reports of racist and anti-Semitic graffiti, racially based bullying in schools and hate crimes in the Empire State following the election. 

    "We will continue to work with our local partners to investigate all incidents of reported bias, and ensure that New Yorkers feel safe and protected," Cuomo said. "Any acts of discrimination or intimidation will be met with the full force of the law."

    Anyone who wants to report an instance of bias or discrimination can call 888-392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. New Yorkers who want to report a crime or fear their safety should still call 911.

    Authorities in several New York jurisdictions, including New York City and Westchester County, are investigating reports of anti-Semitic and racist graffiti. On Tuesday night, state senator Brad Boylman tweeted a photo of a swastika found carved in his Greenwich Village apartment building.

    The state is also investigating a pair of hate crimes in Wellsville and Livingston.

    And on Long Island, Suffolk County officials sent a letter to each of its school districts offering its help in dealing with instances of racially-based bullying following the election. In at least one instance, students chanted "build a wall" in the hallways following the election. 

    There have been similar incidents across the U.S. in the wake of the presidential election. Most of the cases appear to involve graffiti or violence directed at racial or ethnic minorities and in some reports the perpetrators indicated support for President-elect Donald Trump. Some of the cases were reported by police, but many more appeared on social media as anecdotes and not all have been verified.

    Calls had been growing for Trump to speak out against the string of hateful incidents since his election. During a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday, Trump looked at the camera and said that any supporters of his who are harassing people or destroying property should "stop it."

    On CNN’s "State of the Union" Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that people painting hateful graffiti in the wake of the election are "not Republicans" and "we don't want them in our party."

    The NYPD asks anyone with information about the swastika in Brooklyn to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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