Governor Cuomo Orders Police Unit to Combat Post-Election Hate Crime Surge
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has a new initiative to protect civil rights in Trump's home state. On Sunday, the governor announced he would be ordering the New York State Police to assemble a special hate crimes unit.
I am ordering the State Police to put together a special unit to address the explosion of hate crimes in our state.📺https://t.co/O3oXmEdnXp— Andrew Cuomo (@Andrew Cuomo) 1479653379.0
He also called on all New Yorkers to help fight injustice during his formal announcement of the plan.
“I come to you this morning with a heavy heart,” Cuomo told the audience gathered at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
"The ugly political discourse of the election did not end on Election Day; in many ways it's gotten worse it's deepened into a social crisis that challenges our very identity as a state and as a nation," Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor then cited several incidences of harassment following the election results.
"Black freshman at the University of Pennsylvania found messages on their phones including images of lynchings and racial slurs.. someone painted racist messages on the walls in Durham, North Carolina saying 'Black lives don't matter'... fliers promoting the KKK fliers were found on parked cars in Patchogue, Long Island, a swastika was discovered on the B-train in Manhattan," Gov. Cuomo said.
He also cited the Southern Poverty Law Center report of 400+ hate crime incidents targeting people of color, Muslims, immigrants women and members of the LGBT community.
"New York state will not allow the law to be violated, period. Today, I'm directing the Division of State Police in the division of human rights to put together a special team of trained professionals that will investigate these hate crime incidents all across the state, the major ones the minor ones, the infractions and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law," Gov. Cuomo announced.
And Gov. Cuomo has additional plans to address the crisis come 2017.
"This January, I will propose to the legislature that we change the human rights law to specifically protect every child in every school public and private will make sure that every young person knows the law of the land," the governor continued, a duty that goes all the way up to the college level.
"New York will also ensure that every person has legal protections whether they can afford it or not," stated Gov. Cuomo. "And we will be putting together a public-private legal defense fund to provide immigrants who can't afford their own defense the legal assistance they need because in New York, we believe in justice for all."