Senator Hoylman Calls for Comptroller Audit of Hate Crimes Law

New York, NY (August 16, 2013) – In the wake of the most recent anti-LGBT attack on August 14 in Chelsea, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman today released a report on New York’s Hate Crimes Law, informed by expert testimony from a Senate forum earlier this summer. The report contains four recommendations, including a call for the New York State Comptroller to conduct an audit of law enforcement agencies to ensure they are properly reporting hate crimes and training officers and supervisors in identifying, responding to and investigating such crimes. It follows a wave of anti-LGBT violence in New York City, a 70% increase over the prior year according to the NYPD -- including one that took place earlier this week in Chelsea -- as well as a 27% increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the state.

“The surge of hate crimes is a wake-up call for New Yorkers,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WFP – Manhattan), who is Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations. “Experts tell me that they’re concerned how law enforcement agencies collect data, report incidents and train personnel under the Hate Crimes Law. That’s why I’m requesting the New York State Comptroller conduct an audit of state and local law enforcement agencies to examine their compliance with the State’s hate crimes reporting requirement and to assess the adequacy and consistency of the hate crimes training.”

New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said, “I am appalled by the recent spate of hate crimes. New York City's greatest strength is our diversity and we will not let these attacks define us. We must work together and use every tool at our disposal to end this scourge of hate violence. I join Senator Hoylman in highlighting the importance of our Hate Crimes Law and seeking to ensure that it is effectively implemented. We must not rest until every New Yorker feels safe in our streets.”

“The number of reported hate crimes in New York remains far too many. We are very pleased that Senator Hoylman is seeking ways in which to improve New York’s Hate Crime law,” said Seth M. Marnin, Assistant Director of Legal Affairs and Civil Rights Regional Counsel, Anti-Defamation League. “ADL stands with the Senator ready, willing, and able to lead national and state advocacy, training, and legal efforts to improve the response to hate violence. We will continue to work with coalition allies and federal and state officials to spark necessary improvements in reporting and response to this endemic problem.”

Other recommendations in the report include:
•    Requiring periodic systematic reviews of the Hate Crimes Law to evaluate its ongoing impact on deterrence, punishment, enforcement, training and reporting;
•    Mandatory law enforcement training in identifying, responding to and reporting hate crimes;
•    Expanding the scope of protected categories under the Hate Crimes Act to include gender identity or expression by passing the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act  (S 195/A 4226).

The full report is available for download below or is available in hard copy by request from Senator Hoylman’s office at (212) 633-8052.