Compared to last year, hate crimes against Asians in New York City almost quadrupled in the first half of 2021, according to new data from the New York City Police (NYPD).
Of all the people targeted by race, religion, sex and sexual orientation, Asian Americans experienced the largest increase in hate crimes, an issue that has grown steadily since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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- As of July 4, there were 104 documented hate crimes against Asian Americans, an enormous increase of 395% over last year’s 21.
- Hate crimes based on sexual orientation ranked second with a 356% increase from last year’s nine hate crimes to 41.
- Muslims and whites experienced the third-highest increase, 200 per cent each.
- Blacks peaked fourth at 93%, 29 this year, up from 15 last year.
- Out of 329 cases, 111 were anti-Semitic, up 61 per cent from 49 last year.
The NYPD has set up a working group on Asian Hate Crimes to fight and investigate violence against the community.
- First announced in August 2020, the task force consists of 25 officers who speak several Asian languages. It was made permanent a month later.
- Earlier this year, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the deployment of undercover Asian officers to patrol hot spots and act as decoys. At least three individuals have been arrested through these agents.
- In April, NYPD Detective Vincent Chung sued an African American protester for hurling racial slurs at him at a rally that sought to “end Asian hate.” The incident, which was partly caught on video, saw the suspect taunt Chung with the words “soy sauce” and also threaten Chung’s mother.
- In May, Inspector Tommy Ng, commander of the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force, named mental illness as a “common denominator” in some anti-Asian attacks. Shea also acknowledged the role of mental illness but pointed out another common denominator: perpetrators of such incidents have been “arrested multiple times and released.”
- “Keeping all New Yorkers safe is what drives us, and your police officers are working with community members around the clock to do just that,” Shea said on Tuesday. “Through targeted deployment and collaborative efforts with those we serve, the department continues in its mission to stamp out criminal activity and hold those who commit acts of violence to account.”
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