The NYPD has agreed to finally incorporate hate crimes data into the city’s CompStat management system after City Councilmembers Mark Treyger of Brooklyn and Donovan Richards of Queens led lawmakers in prodding the department to begin streamlining the process of pinpointing bias incidents in the city.
CompStat, which has for years been used to locate, address, and report crime incidents to the public on a weekly basis, notably did not track hate crimes — a glaring gap that has been exposed during a time when horrifying anti-Semitic attacks have gripped the city and three dozen anti-LGBTQ hate crime arrests were tallied through the first three quarters of last year.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said during a press conference on January 6 that the idea of incorporating hate crimes into CompStat crossed his mind when he was still chief of detectives.
“I think it’s the perfect time,” said Shea, who took over as the city’s top cop last month. “The more light you shine on this, the better… Anything to bring this to the forefront of what’s going on, to get people talking about it internally as well as externally.”
Shea said it would take several months to incorporate hate crimes into CompStat because the department first must work out technological changes and sort out exactly which crimes would be included.
“Hate crimes is going to mean a lot of different things to different people,” he said. “Is it swastikas? Is it misdemeanors? Is it felonies? Is it that somebody received a letter in the mail or somebody got attacked on the street?”
Treyger, who sent letters in October and December — first to previous NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil, then to Shea — welcomed the department’s decision to add hate crimes to CompStat.
“Tragically, since both of these letters have been sent, there have been more horrific hate crimes committed throughout the city and the metro area,” Treyger said. “All New Yorkers should feel safe, and we must all work together to make sure no one is afraid in our city. Adding hate crimes to CompStat is one more tool to help combat rising hate.”
A testy exchanged emerged on Twitter, however, after Chaim Deutsch, a Brooklyn councilmember with a homophobic record voting against LGBTQ rights at every turn, appeared to claim victory regarding the NYPD’s move and said he drafted legislation incorporating hate crimes into CompStat.
But when Treyger asked him on Twitter for the bill number of that legislation, Deutsch snipped back, saying, “LS 12182, as you already know.”
Treyger responded to Deutsch that no such bill existed on the City Council’s legislative database, and that prompted the Brooklyn bigot to go off on his colleague.
“I suggest you speak with your legislative staff, who can explain how the City Council legislative process works,” said Deutsch, who has voted against banning conversion therapy, rejected transgender rights legislation, and opposed a measure requiring the Department of Education to report on gay-straight alliances, among many other bills. “They can explain the difference between an LS request and an introduction, which is where you seem to be getting confused.”
Deutsch was referring to a legislative service request, which merely initiates the drafting process of a piece of legislation. It is only after that point that a legislative counsel staffer is tasked with actually drafting a bill.
Kalman Yeger, another southern Brooklyn lawmaker, also chimed into that strange Twitter thread, simply saying “Lol” — as if hate crimes are funny. Yeger most recently abstained from a no-brainer vote to make it easier for loved ones to visit burial sites on Hart Island, home to many people lost to AIDS.
Richards, for his part, stayed out of that whole mess and stood with Treyger.
“Happy to work with my colleague @MarkTreyger718 to ensure transparency and accountability in reporting on hate crimes,” he wrote.