NEW YORK—Today, the New York State Senate’s Finance Committee passed the Hate Crimes Analysis & Review Act (S.70/A.2230), legislation sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) and Assembly Member Karines Reyes (D-The Bronx) that would improve New York State’s ability to monitor and respond to hate crimes. The legislation is moving forward at a time when hate crimes, specifically those targeting the Asian-American community, are on the rise in New York City.
Senator Hoylman said: “Last year, the number of hate crimes reported against New York City’s Asian-American community increased by more than 900% from 2019 numbers. This disturbing rise in hateful violence is an affront to our values as New Yorkers—and we must take action to address it. I’m proud to sponsor the Hate Crimes Analysis & Review Act with Assembly Member Reyes, legislation that would impose much-needed reforms on the way our state collects and releases data on hate crimes. This data will be a crucial step towards understanding the spike in hate crimes and determining ways to stop it; as the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Let’s be clear: there’s no room for hate in New York State.”
The Hate Crimes Analysis and Review Act would require the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DJCS) to maintain and make public statistical data about hate crimes, while expanding the data points law enforcement is required to report. This legislation would also require DJCS to issue a standalone hate crimes report based on this data, a more robust analysis of the hate crimes that are occuring in New York State.
Yesterday, hundreds of New Yorkers rallied in Washington Square Park to raise awareness of the disturbing spike in crime against the Asian-American community. At the same time, former president Donald Trump delivered a stemwinding speech at CPAC in Florida where he used a racist term to describe COVID-19. Research published in the journal Health Education & Behavior shows this racist terminology led to a spike in hostility against Asian-Americans that increased the likelihood of anti-Asian violence and discrimination.
In 2020, NYPD reported 29 racially-motivated crimes against AAPI people in New York City, 24 of which were reportedly motivated by racist misconceptions about COVID-19. This represents a 900% increase from the previous year, when there were only three hate crimes reported against AAPI New Yorkers. The “Stop AAPI Hate” coalition reported 259 anti-Asian incidents in 2020, most of which related to verbal abuse or harassment.