The NYPD is beefing up its efforts to combat a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes. The department is adding more resources and manpower. Part of the heightened presence includes a group of undercover officers.
NYPD sending undercover agents into Asian neighborhoods
You won’t know they’re officers, but the Police Department promises they’ll be there, blending into Asian communities like Chinatown. Essentially, they will be part of a new group of Asian undercovers.
“You better think twice, whether you’re in a grocery store, whether you’re walking down the street, or whether you’re on a train platform, and shame on you if you’re targeting somebody specifically because of how they look,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
It’s all part of the NYPD’s latest efforts to combat a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes. There have been 26 so far this year compared to zero for the same period last year.
“We had an increase in corona-related hate last year, but I don’t think there’s any question, at least to me, that there’s instances of under-reporting of crime,” Shea said.
The undercovers are separate from the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Task Force, which is also adding two more detectives. One of them is Danny Zhang, who immigrated from China when he was 11 years old.
“Any time you hear about these cases out there, I think about my grandparents. My parents. They could be one of the victims. So, it hits home,” Zhang said.
Oh I forgot—this doesn’t count because the perpetrator isn’t white.
— Gina Bontempo (@FlorioGina) March 29, 2021
Its 1984 and big brother is watching your ass
The task force also has a new boss, Tommy Ng, who is known as the first commanding officer to hold community meetings in Chinese. He replaces Stewart Loo, who planned to retire last year but postponed to start the task force.
“I came to this country from Hong Kong when I was 16 in 1988,” Ng said. “We’re here to help. I just want to make sure that we get the message out.”
In addition, the NYPD is increasing its outreach, including giving out pamphlets with facts about hate crimes and how to report them. More language options are also being added for 911.
“We’re asking that anyone who calls 911 and does not speak English, they only need to know and say one word — the English word that identifies the language they speak,” said Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey, commanding officer of the hate crime task force.
Police said they’re going to step up efforts to determine if a suspect was motivated by race, ethnicity or other characteristics that define a hate crime — motives that can be hard to prove.
“If it is an unprovoked assault, it will be investigated. It will be investigated by the Hate Crimes Task Force because they’re the experts,” Incoming Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said.
The NYPD said it has made several arrests lately, including a homeless man who allegedly punched an Asian woman in the East Village on Sunday. He was arrested Monday evening and arraigned on hate crime charges.
By Tuesday afternoon, CBS2 cameras happened to see him walking in Lower Manhattan. The district attorney’s office says it asked for bail, but the judge ordered a supervised release instead.
The NYPD’s announcement on the undercovers came as welcome news to local residents. Communities had been pleading for help, since cases started to surge since the Democrats in NY began cutting funding for police departments.
As incidents of anti-Asian violence linked to the coronavirus pandemic surge in the U.S., Karlin Chan, who has lived in New York's Chinatown for over 60 years, has formed a neighborhood watch to keep his community safe pic.twitter.com/Cy9jthlTAj
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 13, 2021