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September 25, 2015 5:41 am

Rise in Antisemitic Attacks Has New York Police Turning Attention to Hate Crimes

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

NYPD vehicle. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The NYPD is focusing on a recent spike in hate crimes against Jews. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The New York Police Department is turning its attention to a spike in hate crimes in the city following two separate incidents in Queens, in which assailants shot at Jews with pellet guns, the New York Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Two men, wearing noticeably Jewish garments, were shot with BB guns over the past 10 days in Kew Gardens Hills, according to City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows). The attacks took place just blocks away from the local yeshiva, Lander College for Men. The victims, both in their 20s, were not seriously wounded. The NYPD is treating the attacks as possible hate crimes.

The first attack took place on the evening of Friday, Sept. 11; the second occurred a week later, on the morning of Sept. 18, VIN News reported. Both were perpetrated around the time of the Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Lancman said in a statement that he was “deeply disturbed” to hear about the attacks. He applauded the NYPD for “appropriately investigating these incidents as potential antisemitic hate crimes.” He confirmed that his office is in contact with the police to ensure that authorities address the community’s security concerns, particularly during the Jewish holidays.

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“We have antisemitism exploding around the globe and an increase in New York City in the last year,” Lancman told VIN News. “We are going to take these attacks very seriously and are glad that the NYPD is doing so, as well.”

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce also noted this increase. “Unfortunately, antisemitism is up,” he said.

According to NYPD statistics, there has been a 3 percent increase in such crimes this year so far, with a total of 221 incidents taking place from January until Sept. 13, as compared with 213 in 2014.

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