New York State to Create Special Hate Crimes Task Force

After attack on Jewish cemetery, Governor Cuomo vowed New York would have zero tolerance to 'discrimination of any kind'

The Governor of New York Andrew M. Cuomo, left, and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shake hands at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, in Jerusalem, Sunday, March 5, 2017.
Dan Balilty/AP

New York state has allotted funds to establish a hate crimes task force.

The task force, which will identify and investigate hate crimes and discriminatory practices, will be established using $1 million set aside in the new state budget passed earlier this month.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office says the group will include members of the New York State Police working with the state Division of Human Rights as well as prosecutors and local school and law enforcement officials.

Following the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York, Cuomo said in a statement, “New York has zero tolerance for bias or discrimination of any kind, and we will always stand united in the face of anti-Semitism and divisiveness.”

In mid-February, a report said that hate crimes against Jews more than doubled in New York City since the start of the new year from the same period in 2016.

The city’s Police Department said 56 hate crimes were reported from Jan. 1 to Feb. 12, with 28 of the incidents targeting Jews. In the same period last year, the total number of hate crimes was 31, with 13 targeting Jews. Jews were the top targets in both years.