Top law enforcement officials from the FBI, State Police, NYPD and the Mayor’s office held a security briefing for the Crown Height community at the Jewish Children’s Museum.
By Anash.org reporter
Photos: Shalom Ross/Anash.org
Top law enforcement officials from the FBI, State Police, NYPD and the Mayor’s office held a security and safety briefing for the Crown Height community at the Jewish Children’s Museum.
The event was joined by many Crown Heights residents who came out to voice their concerns about the dramatic rise in hate crimes in the past few years and since the Hamas terror attack specifically.
In recent days, we have seen a dramatic increase in the the amount of hate crimes directed at the Jewish community. New York State officials say they are taking it very seriously. “The police department is closely monitoring the situation and has staff keeping a pulse on social media as well, to ensure that any threats are detected and addressed,” they said.
Addressing the meeting was NYPD Captain Gary Marcus, the commanding officer of the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force, who spoke about what exactly constitutes a hate crime. He also stressed the importance of reporting the hate crimes to the Police otherwise it cannot be investigated.
“All Americans are granted the rights of the First Amendment, which include the right to free speech and are allowed to voice their feelings of anger and hatred,” he explained. “But once any form of threat is issued, it moves to the category of hate crimes and is not tolerated.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez spoke about how hate crimes are different than other crimes and how his department prosecutes them. He explained the difficulties in proving the criminals motives when he committed the violent act.
The leaders expressed that they had already wanted to hold this gathering prior to the attacks in Israel, and now that the tensions in New York had risen considerably, it was definitely important to meet and discuss the concerns of the Jewish community.
The security officials showed a strong display of support for the Jewish community and told the Jewish residents that they were increasing vigilance of our neighborhood schools and shuls. They say there is nothing to be afraid of, as they are protecting our communities. At the same time, they iterated that it is important to report any suspicious or threatening rhetoric or activity to security officials.
The police shared some of the extra precautions they were taking, including adding planes and helicopters to their patrols.
One of the speakers spoke about the tensions in Israel and said that members of Hamas could be in Brooklyn. That there were terrorist sympathizers and people who joined Hamas and felt for their cause here in America.
FBI Director in Charge James Smith, NYPD Inspector Richard Taylor, Commanding Officer of Intelligence Division John Hart, all spoke as well.