Following Release of FBI Hate Crimes Data, CM Levine Calls for Dedicated Office for Hate Crime Prevention

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

November 13, 2018

CONTACT: Jake Sporn // 917-842-5748 // jsporn@council.nyc.gov

City Hall, NY -- In response to the alarming rise in hate crimes in New York City, Council Members Mark Levine and Donovan Richards are introducing legislation that would create a City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes.

Over the past several years, hate crimes have been on the rise in America’s largest cities. This is especially true in New York, where hate crimes are up over 40% since 2011, with a noticeable spike having occurred in 2016 during the last presidential election.

Per a report released earlier this year from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism; California State University, San Bernardino, “Hate crimes in [New York City] rose 12.4 percent in 2016; much more than the 4.6 percent national rise, propelled by a massive spike in the weeks following the presidential election.”

“The epidemic of hate crimes sweeping across the country is a national crisis,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “As we’ve seen in recent weeks, this is a battle being fought on our New York City streets every day. When hate crimes and threats occur, they are not just an attack on innocent victims, but on the values we share as New Yorkers. We have an obligation to guarantee the safety and security of every community that calls New York home. We must do everything we can to help protect the diverse communities that define our city. An Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes--the first of its kind in the nation--would coordinate the efforts of City agencies to promote awareness and prevention, ensure proper investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, and monitor the impact of these heinous acts on our neighborhoods.”

“In the pursuit of stopping the spread of hate across our nation, New York City must become more proactive in our approach to hate crimes,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “The City should be organizing all city agencies and community leaders to create a holistic plan to address this troubling rise in hate, ignorance and fear. The creation of the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will be the driving force in that conversation by ensuring that our city progresses away from the reactive approach to violent hate crimes and continues to strengthen the diverse groups in our communities that make our City so strong.”

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