The NYPD started an Asian Hate Crime Task Force last year, and in recent weeks, it’s become an even more important part of the department with attacks on Asian New Yorkers on the rise.
The latest unprovoked attack on an Asian man was caught on surveillance video in Lower Manhattan, just outside the F train on East Broadway.
It’s the first time the police department has dedicated an entire team to investigate crimes targeting a single race.
Inspector Stewart Loo, a 21-year veteran with the department, heads the unit.
“What’s different about this task force is we try to build a personal connection with our victims through language or similar background or heritage,” he said. “We try to bridge the gap.”
The unit has been very busy; with the recent uptick in hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers, they often work several cases at once.
The detectives and supervisors make an effort to talk victims through the process, but many Asian New Yorkers are reluctant to come forward.
Detective Jacky Wong said, that’s the biggest obstacle, but the officers try to make the victims comfortable and show they’re there to help, she said.
While their experience as cops will help solve these crimes, it’s their deep connection with this community that makes the difference. The team urges every Asian New Yorker victimized by hate to come forward.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).