MIDWOOD — Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced the recent uptick in hate crime complaints Thursday morning during a rally at the Kingsway Jewish Center in Midwood. Hate crimes are up 81 percent from last year.
There have been 49 hate crime complaints as of Feb. 12 throughout New York City, of which two-thirds have targeted the Jewish community, according to the NYPD. There are 32 anti-Semitic complaints so far this year, up from 17 during the same time last year.
“New York City will never be silent in the face of hatred,” the mayor said at Thursday’s press conference.
In December, Midwood had its own run-in with anti-Semitism when someone scrawled a 12-inch red swastika across 77-year old Miryam Marc’s Midwood home while she was observing the Jewish Sabbath.
New York City leads the world’s Jewish population with more than 1.5 million residents living within the boroughs. In Crown Heights, there are about 3000 Jewish families.
Back-to-back attacks against two Jewish residents in the area prompted community outcry late January. As a result, police increased their presence throughout Crown Heights’ heavily populated Jewish sections. The three assailants are slated to be arraigned Feb. 27, there is no update on the pending charges.
“I want to stress, hate has no place in New York City,” said NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison. “If you commit a hate crime, we will catch you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
At the press conference, Councilman Kalman Yeger and Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein both lauded de Blasio’s efforts on condemning anti-Semitism with Eichenstein highlighting the Mayor’s stance on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Insta-star Esther Adina Miles a.k.a Flatbush Girl also weighed in on the mayor’s reaction.
About a mile away from the Jewish center, three Asian restaurant employees died at the hands of a hammer-wielding suspect who, according to the eatery’s staffer, was targeting Chinese victims (Warning! Graphic photo).
The mayor tweeted about the event on Jan. 24 after the last victim succumbed to their injuries.
I am deeply saddened to learn that Tsz Mat Pun died today from injuries sustained in the vicious hammer attack in Brooklyn, that also claimed the lives of Fufai Pun and Kheong Ng-Thang. An attack on Asian New Yorkers is an attack on all New Yorkers. https://t.co/IkZuX1qZM1
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 25, 2019
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office created a dedicated Hate Crime Bureau in December in response to the increase in hate crimes. The office is tasked with investigating hate crimes and educating vulnerable communities on their rights. So far this year, the bureau has received 10 cases, according to spokesperson Oren Yaniv.