NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York officials are raising the reward amount for information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime following a rash of recent bomb threats against Jewish institutions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio said the joint state-city reward is now up to $20,000 from the state’s current $5,000 reward.
“We have zero tolerance for intolerance and I encourage all New Yorkers to report any instance of hate, bias or discrimination,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We will continue to aggressively work with our federal and local partners to hold those responsible accountable to the fullest extent of the law, keep our communities safe, and uphold our core values of diversity and inclusion.”
“The recent spate of threats against our Jewish community are threats against all of us,” de Blasio said in a statement. “I’m proud to join forces with the governor as we work with our local, state and federal partners in law enforcement to see that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
Evan Bernstein, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, described the ADL as “thrilled” that the state and city have acted together to up the reward money, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
“It makes you feel really proud to be working in New York, to be part of a state that has leadership like Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio that are going to step up for their people,” he said.
Overall, hate crimes are up 113 percent this year in New York City, officials said earlier this week. There have been 100 incidents so far this year compared to 47 in the same period last year.
The announcement from the governor and the mayor comes as the Jewish Association-Services For Aged in the Midwood section of Brooklyn was evacuated Friday morning.
Investigators say the senior center located on the first floor of a Coney Island Avenue building received a text threat around 8 a.m. For more than two hours, people who work in the building waited in the cold as officers investigated.
In a separate statement, Cuomo called the threat “another repulsive and cowardly act.”
“By threatening a place that serves our most vulnerable New Yorkers, this is a particularly appalling incident in the recent wave of hate and anti-Semitism that has afflicted our communities,” he said.
On Thursday, a bomb threat was received at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn.
Earlier this week, Anti-Defamation League offices were also the target of bomb threats as well as Jewish Community Centers and day schools in upstate New York and at least four other states.
Last week, 20 bomb threats were called into JCCs in 12 separate states during the day, including multiple locations in New York and New Jersey.
New Yorkers who have experienced bias or discrimination are being urged to call New York State’s toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or text “HATE” to 81336.
New Yorkers can also call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.