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Courtesy of City Council
Commissioner James O’Neill (c) was at a budget hearing meeting in City Hall when Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce discussed the rise of hate crimes citywide, especially in Queens North.
By Naeisha Rose

New York City has suffered a significant rise in hate crimes compared to last year, according to Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.

Boyce attended an executive budget hearing for the Committee for Public Safety at City Hall, along with Commissioner James O’Neill Monday.

“Right now, there are three problems for us: anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim and anti-transgender, and that is what is driving our numbers,” Boyce said.

Most of the hate crimes included incidents of “criminal mischief,” Boyce said. “This is in two specific areas, Queens North and Brooklyn South.”

Incidents mostly involved the drawing of swastikas throughout the city in subways and public spaces, according to Boyce.

Criminal mischief rose from 12 incidents by this point last year to 61 this year. Other hate crimes included aggravated harassment, terroristic threats, and assaults, which mostly included the grabbing of religious garbs, Boyce said.

Last year, the total for hate crimes in May was 118, and this year there were 67 more incidents, bringing the total to 185, according to NYPD crime stats.

Overall, there was a jump in ethnic crimes against people of Middle Eastern descent in particular, Asians, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and Jews.

Anti-Jewish crime rose from 48 occurrences to 88. The amount of Muslim hate crimes climbed from nine to 16. Crimes against blacks doubled to 12 compared to last year.

There were fewer crimes against the disabled, whites and people of the LGBT community compared to last year.

Separate from the overall LGBT community, transgender persons faced more hate crime this year.

The city Commission on Human Rights recorded “a 60 percent increase in overall reports of discrimination in 2016,” according to a representative, and it sees “a trend that continues into 2017.”

The Commission on Human Rights currently is investigating 1,600 open cases of discrimination.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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