Forum about Hate Crime Held in Chinatown 

Elected officials, community leaders and members of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force met at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association on April 22. (Photo by Tina Yang via Ming Pao Daily)

Elected officials, community leaders and members of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force met at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association on April 22. (Photo by Tina Yang via Ming Pao Daily)

A forum about hate crime was held at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in Chinatown on April 22. Many elected officials and community leaders attended. They called for people who become victims of hate crime to report to the police, and said this is the best way to stop such incidents from happening again.

The forum was co-hosted by the Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club, the Hate Crimes Task Force of the New York Police Department, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, Assembly member Ron Kim and the Organization of Chinese Americans. Elected officials including Rep. Nydia Velasquez, Assembly member Kim and Council member Margaret Chin attended the forum.

Kim said there were several violent crimes recently in which the victims were Asian. Many Asians are frightened by these cases and worried that they are going to be targeted by criminals. Some even don’t dare to take the subway. An example was the case that happened in Whitestone about a month ago when a young Chinese woman was slashed in the face by a criminal. The victim survived but underwent more than 200 stitches. The police are now sure that this was not a hate crime case. But the real target of the criminal, a girl who looks like the victim, is also Chinese. The case left people in the Chinese community in a cold sweat.

Kim said his office often gets complaints from victim of crimes. But many of the victims don’t report the crimes to the police. Kim thought a language barrier is a major reason that stops victims from seeking help from the police. He has asked Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD to do what they can to help.

Deputy Inspector Mark Magrone, the head of the Task Force at the NYPD, explained the judicial concept of what constitutes a hate crime and answered questions from the audience. He said a hate crime is defined as when a criminal “intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless or whether the belief or perception is correct or not.” Victims don’t have to worry about a language barrier. They can request the police to provide an interpreter when reporting the crime to the police. Victims can call 911 or 311.

Karlin Chan, director of the Chinese Freemasons, also encouraged victims to speak up. He said victims should report to the police at the first time and fill out formal forms to help the police to track related statistics so they can take actions more effectively. Victims can call the Task Force of the NYPD at 646-610-5267.

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