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New York Lawmakers Propose Expanding Hate Crime Statute

Lawmakers in New York are propsing adding over 30 new crimes to the state’s hate crime law, including gang assault, sexual misconduct, rape, making graffiti and weapon possession — all of which were not previously included in the statute that was passed in 2000. “Hate fueled attacks are on the rise, targeting almost every racial and ethnic group,” said State Sen. Brad Hoylman, who co-sponsored the bill, the Gothamist reports. Hoylman noted that the FBI reported more hate crimes in 2022 than any other year since they began tracking. The number of hate crimes in New York in October of 2023 was double the number in October of 2022.

According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who supports the bill, hate crimes “often spike following high profile events,” pointing to “xenophobic rhetoric” during the 2016 presidential election and Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. Assemblymember Grace Lee of Chinatown, the bill's author, said she experienced this pattern firsthand during the pandemic. “I was walking down the street with my young daughter when a woman threw a bottle at me and yelled anti-Asian slurs at us,” Lee said. Bragg said the proposed bill would allow law enforcement to track hate with more realistic statistics. “This is going to make the charges reflect what actually is the conduct,” he said.


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