NBC - New crime statistics in New York City show a significant increase in anti-Asian hate crimes this past year.
Incidents targeting Asians rose by 361 percent, from 28 last year to 129 as of Sunday, the New York Police Department said at a news conference this week.
With several potential factors behind the surge, like increased awareness around reporting these crimes, Russell Jeung, co-founder of the hate incident reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate, cautioned against interpreting the data as an exact reflection of the extent to which Asian Americans experienced racism.
“It is consistent with a general surge in racism against Asian Americans, first of all," Jeung said. "It’s consistent with the increase in crimes during the epidemic. And then thirdly, reflective of the Asian American community more likely to report."
The news conference featured findings from the NYPD Hate Crime Review Panel, a civilian group that helps law enforcement identify potential hate crimes. James Essig, chief of detectives, said that anti-Asian incidents in part drove the city’s 100 percent overall increase in hate crimes this year. Crimes relating to sexual orientation also fueled the general jump, growing from 29 to 85 cases, as well as those targeting the Jewish community, which went from 121 to 183.
Officials said that in the 503 total hate crimes this year, the NYPD made 249 arrests, representing a 106 percent increase from last year. Crimes included a range of “heinous” assaults to vandalism, Devorah Halberstam, the panel’s chair, said. Perpetrators included individuals with mental illness.
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