(Brooklyn, NY) – Yesterday, the State Senate passed Senator Kevin Parker’s bill, S951A, which increases the penalties arising from bias related graffiti to make it even clearer that hate crimes must end in New York. In 2012, the number of hate crimes in New York increased by 30%, and in 2014 barely a week has passed without an account of anti-Semitic graffiti on privately owned vehicles or public buildings, such as the anti-Jewish graffiti rampage of last weekend in Central Brooklyn.
“Hate crimes are a uniquely corrosive type of criminal behavior that have their strongest effect upon our children, but act to
undermine our sense of community and our values as New Yorkers,” said Senator Parker. “That is graffiti designed to spread
messages of hatred about race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender, and national origin deserves to face heightened criminal
penalties. By passing my bill yesterday, the State Senate joined me in sending a clear message to would-be offenders that
New York State has zero tolerance for hatred in any form.”
Currently, malicious graffiti is treated as a Class A misdemeanor. This legislation would include bias-related graffiti into New York’s hate crimes law, which would increase the penalty for bias-related graffiti to a Class E felony. The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman David Weprin (D24-Queens).
“Sadly, there is no shortage of hateful actions against others in New York, such as the racist graffiti spray-painted on Brooklyn’s Jackie Robinson statue last winter, or the similar graffiti that was spray-painted on the space shuttle replica at the Johnson Space Center about the same time in 2013,” the Senator concluded. “This is my second piece of legislation aimed squarely at fighting bias-crimes, and I look forward to this legislation becoming law too, like my last anti-bias crime bill.”
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committees on Energy and Telecommunications and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.