NEW YORK (PIX11) — A week after three women allegedly slapped and grabbed Jewish children, a heightened police presence was still felt in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Two of the hate crimes, which took place in the heart of a Jewish community, happened on the first night of Hanukkah.
But those incidents are just the tip of the iceberg, NYPD officials said. “We have 503 reported hate crimes,” NYPD Assistant Chief James Essig said. “That’s up 100% from last year.”
Amid the spike, Essig and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea stood with the Department’s Hate Crimes Review Panel on Tuesday. The panel was discussing its review of more than 100 randomly selected reported bias and non-bias crimes.
Out of the more than 100 cases reviewed, Panel Chairwoman Devorah Halberstam said two “rose to the level of concern” and were switched from “non-bias” to “bias” crimes. She announced that the Panel disagreed with the findings of the NYPD’s own Hate Crimes Task Force. To reach that decision, Halberstam said the panel’s members—representing Jewish, Black, Asian, and LGBTQ+ New Yorkers—reviewed evidence and “drew logical conclusions.”
Essig said, in the future, there will be an opportunity for the panel’s work and thought process to be passed down to police investigators. “My officers from Hate Crimes deal with them, so they’re learning, too,” he said. “They’re getting the full experience from everybody.”