NYPD announces Asian American hate crimes task force, citing spike in cases

After several acts of hate towards Asian Americans in New York City since March, the NYPD announced Tuesday it is launching a new task force to combat the problem.

News 12 Staff

Aug 18, 2020, 9:37 PM

Updated 1,379 days ago

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After several acts of hate towards Asian Americans in New York City since March, the NYPD announced Tuesday it is launching a new task force to combat the problem.
The NYPD says one of the biggest obstacles in fighting Asian American hate crimes is finding the right detective for the case. Twenty-five Asian American detectives who all speak a second language will be deployed to handle these incidents with the hope that more cases can be solved by getting rid of any cultural or language barriers.
There were 21 reported Asian American hate crimes across the city between March 21 and early August, with 17 arrests in connection. Many more incidents go unreported because of social differences and distrust in the police, according to officials.
 
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"I'm here to say, without question with this task force, that we do care," said Deputy Inspector Stewart Loo. "Things that happen that we see online; and I'm looking for a police report, and there is none.
It's unclear how many of those have been prosecuted at this time. Police say the task force was involved in four of those 17 arrests.
Previously, detectives would mainly use translators.
"Be it language barriers, cultural differences, or fear of the police, this task force would gain cooperation through the investigation, arrest, and prosecution process," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison.
As the task force tries to catch the perpetrators, the question remains as to what is causing the hate. Some say coronavirus is to blame.
The task force will remain in place beyond the pandemic and officials say other task forces for other races aren't off the table. However, they say the focus right now is on reaching victims who might not feel comfortable seeking help otherwise.


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