New York State to establish hate crimes task force


(JTA) — New York State reportedly will establish a hate crimes task force.

The task force, which will identify and investigate hate crimes and discriminatory practices, will be established using $1 million set aside in the new state budget passed earlier this month, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

It will be made up of members of the New York State Police, who will work with the state Division of Human Rights, prosecutors and local school and law enforcement officials, the AP reported, citing the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Following the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York, Cuomo said in a statement, “New York has zero tolerance for bias or discrimination of any kind, and we will always stand united in the face of anti-Semitism and divisiveness.”

In mid-February, a report said that hate crimes against Jews more than doubled in New York City since the start of the new year from the same period in 2016.

The city’s Police Department said 56 hate crimes were reported from Jan. 1 to Feb. 12, with 28 of the incidents targeting Jews. In the same period last year, the total number of hate crimes was 31, with 13 targeting Jews. Jews were the top targets in both years.