Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that New York City will be taking new measures to combat anti-Semitism in response to the attack in Jersey City and the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the mayor instructed the NYPD to increase deployments to protect key locations in the Jewish community, including houses of worship, until further notice.
The NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau has created a new unit to focus on domestic terrorism and organized hate groups to prevent violence from occurring. De Blasio’s administration will also convene community and faith leaders from all backgrounds to develop a longer-term, grassroots strategy to combat anti-Semitism.
“An attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all New Yorkers,” said de Blasio. “There is a growing crisis of violent anti-Semitism across the country—and it is one our City cannot ignore. We must come together to confront this pattern of hate directly and stop Anti-Semitism aggressively in its tracks.”
“The NYPD’s mission, every day, is to keep people safe and to ensure they feel safe, as well,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “There is absolutely no room for hate in New York City, and we have redeployed our resources to protect key locations in our Jewish communities. In addition, this new unit will play an important part of our vigilance to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.”
The Racial and Ethnic Motivated Extremism Unit (REME), a new unit within the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau, brings together groups with the Intelligence Bureau to investigate domestic terrorism and organized hate groups. This team, which has been in development for several months, focuses on preventing violence before it occurs. REME will be composed of 25 investigators, supervisors and external partners.
NYC will also be convening community and faith leaders from all backgrounds to develop a longer-term, grassroots strategy to combat anti-Semitism. More information will be released on this in the coming weeks.
These new measures build upon the city’s robust strategies to combat hate crimes and bias incidents, specifically the anti-Semitic incidents. Earlier this year, the mayor launched the city’s first-ever Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. The OPHC takes a holistic approach to preventing hate crimes, developing and coordinating community-driven prevention strategies to address biases fueling such crimes, and fostering healing for victims and their communities. The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is a dedicated citywide team of investigators responsible for investigating all hate crimes and bias- related incidents.