Rally demands end to hate crimes in Brooklyn community

Rally demands end to hate crimes in Brooklyn community

A Brooklyn man who prosecutors say was attacked because of his religion met his alleged attacker in court today. Before stepping inside, he and protesters made a loud plea to ensure that this doesn't happen to anyone else.
The NYPD reported roughly 195 hate crimes in 2022 that were aimed toward people who are Jewish, the largest demographic targeted.
Blake Zavadsky experienced that hatred personally.
"Hate crimes should stop," said Zavadsky. "Any time of crimes, not only antisemitism, there's many hate crimes."
Prosecutors say a group of men approached Zavadsky just over a year ago in Bay Ridge, demanding he remove a hoodie that he wore that said Israel Defense Force. When he refused, the men allegedly said antisemitic comments and attacked him. Investigators identified one of those men to be Suleiman Othman.
"I'm still in shock," said Zavadsky.
Supporters and city leaders gathered with Zavadsky, echoing his cry to end hate crimes in New York City. They called on elected leaders and the justice system to make examples of those who commit these crimes.
"He has an opportunity to show this city – to send a powerful message to this city – that you will not simply go home after committing a hate crime such as this one," said Council Member Inna Vernikov. "You're going to jail."
Vernikov says Othman was offered a plea deal of six months in jail with five years' probation but refused.
The trial is set to begin Feb. 14.