City Councilmember Mark Treyger of Brooklyn is preparing to introduce a bill that would require the NYPD to incorporate hate crimes data into the city’s CompStat management system to increase accountability, transparency, and local response after a marked uptick in crimes targeting, especially, Jewish and LGBTQ New Yorkers.
CompStat has long been utilized by the city to pinpoint and eradicate crime and provide weekly reporting to the public, but its exclusion of hate crime numbers is coming under scrutiny during a year when there were 93 hate crime arrests through the first two quarters, which is on pace to eclipse the 157 total arrests for last year.
Treyger announced his plans to unveil the legislation — which is still being drafted — just days after he and Councilmember Donovan Richards of Queens, who is chair of the Public Safety Committee, penned a letter to the NYPD requesting that the department voluntarily make the change.
The pair of pols said in the letter that the crime-tracking system’s exclusion of hate crimes means “there are missed opportunities to build a reporting culture and a holistic response effort.”
“As hate crimes continue to rise, our city must do everything possible to make sure all New Yorkers are safe,” the letter stated. “By adding hate crimes data to CompStat reports, hate crimes data will be as transparent as other crimes.”
Currently, hate crime statistics are unveiled on a quarterly basis in the city. The letter noted that the data would be available in a timelier manner, giving local communities an opportunity to react accordingly and afford them transparency as to when and where such crimes are being carried out. The statistics, they said, could be embedded in regular Community Precinct Council meetings during which police officials meet with members of local communities.
“CompStat helped lead to precision community policing by targeting resources to those communities most impacted by crime to develop proactive strategies to bring crime numbers down,” Treyger said in a written statement after delivering the letter. “The same level of urgency, transparency, and accountability must be applied to hate crimes perpetrated against Jews, Muslims, Catholics, LGBTQ, people of color, immigrants, and other marginalized communities.”
The letter comes less than two months after the de Blasio administration’s new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes opened its doors under the stewardship of former Anti-Defamation League executive Deborah Lauter, who spoke to Gay City News about her new role just days after she officially started.
But Treyger is not satisfied with that office alone, saying that it is “not enough.”
“We need to be proactive and empower local communities to better combat this crisis,” he said.
There were 36 anti-Jewish hate crime busts through the first two quarters, topping the list, and the 23 anti-LGBTQ hate crime arrests represented the second-most among all categories.
Numerous video clips have shown brutal attacks on Jewish folks in the city, while anti-LGBTQ attacks became increasingly common during the time surrounding the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Among those cases included a vicious attack on a pair of trans women who were pepper-sprayed in Jackson Heights and the repeated burning of Rainbow Flags at Alibi, a gay bar in Harlem. In both of those cases, assailants went on to get charged with hate crimes.
Bias incidents have also uniquely targeted Jewish LGBTQ folks like out gay community organizer Eli Apple, who posted a video on social media of a man yelling at him for wearing a pink kippah, carrying a purse, and wearing a rainbow-colored patch on his jeans.
“As a grandson of Holocaust survivors, this issue is very personal for me,” Treyger said. “There is no room for hate and intolerance in any shape or form in New York City.”