Top cop addresses racist attacks

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea came to Sunset Park March 25 for a meeting with law enforcement and community members about hate crimes against Asian-Americans.

More than 400 people viewed the Zoom meeting, which was held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 545 60th St.

“We take any attacks on the Asian community seriously and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure that you are safe,” said Shea, who is deploying extra detectives for the Hate Crimes Task Force and undercover Asian-American officers in plain clothes. 

“We are doing it with this specific mission in mind: To tell people that would commit these crimes that you better be careful, because that person you may attack or assault or start threatening on the street or subway may be an undercover NYPD detective.”

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said the NYPD is committed to stopping violence, especially violence that is racially motivated. He encouraged anyone with information about suspected bias-motivated attacks in Brooklyn to contact the Hate Crimes Bureau at 718-250-4949. 

During a question-and-answer session, one participant asked about the difference between an assault and a hate-crime assault.

“Our Hate Crime Task Force under Inspector [Jessica] Corey investigates all of these incidents,” said Shea. “We get notified [about] possible hate crimes, but what we have to do is investigate and what we have to determine is a crime took place. There is an assault. The hard part is determining why it took place and what motivated that person’s actions and it’s not always easy.”

Shea also said the NYPD has to do a better job of gathering evidence for prosecutors.

Participants at the meeting were told to call 911 if an attack takes place. Operators will connect callers with an interpreter if needed.

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