Community Leaders Critical of New York's Strategies Against Hate Crimes

April 2, 2003

Source: The Village Voice

On April 2, 2003 The Village Voice reported that "given the red alert on hate crimes, advocacy and community groups in New York's immigrant neighborhoods are trying a range of strategies to defend local residents and allay their fears. Many are hosting know-your-rights and safety workshops; some are even steering people to self-defense classes. But they charge that the city is not doing enough to help. According to Gerard Cole, a spokesperson for the NYPD, the police department has not sent out any special beat cops on details in communities where bigots may be trolling for targets of opportunity... Worse, advocates say, the city has not done enough to assure immigrants who may be victims of attacks that they can approach the police without fearing they'll be turned over to immigration authorities. Reporting of hate crimes to law enforcement officials has long been fraught for these communities. Indeed, in the post-9-11 period in which the FBI counted 414 cases, CAIR clocked more than 1,700. But now the anxiety is at an all-time high."