NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Frustrated by an inability to stem a steady rise in hate crimes, Mayor Bill de Blasio is demanding punishment for even the smallest offense.
With staples in his head and bruises on his face, Abraham Gopin is one example on the rising tide of hate crime in New York. He was attacked with a paving stone and berated for being Jewish, while exercising in a Brooklyn park.READ MORE: NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora Still In Critical Condition Following Deadly Shooting In Harlem
“He knocked out two teeth. The nose is broken,” Gopin said after the attack.
Since that incident last month, hate crimes have continued to rise, prompting the liberal mayor, known in some circles as “Get Out Of Jail Free Bill” for supporting no-bail policies and reducing the punishment for of life offenses, to take a get-tough stance.
“It’s crucial to show consequence even for the smallest thing,” de Blasio said Wednesday.
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When reminded by CBS2’s Marcia Kramer that he said there should be consequences and then asked for an example of a fitting consequence, the mayor said, “Absolutely prison time for people who commit serious anti-Semitic crimes or any bias crime.”
There have been 301 bias crimes so far this year compared to 217 last year, a 39% increase. Of those, 155 have been anti-Semitic crimes compared to 97 last year, a whopping 60% hike.READ MORE: Westchester Police Departments To Travel To Harlem In Tribute To Fallen NYPD Officer Jason Rivera
“Each crime is different. Each person is different. And obviously with some folks it’s because of a mental health condition,” de Blasio said. “But anyone who commits an act of violence and it’s proven should do time. We have to show people that there are serious consequences.”
At a meeting with Jewish leaders at NYPD headquarters, officials said that while hate crime are up, so are arrests as 148 people have been charged so far this year compared to 111 last year, a 28% increase.
Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari talked about tracking the man who attacked Gopin.
“This man walked up, punched him, kicked him and threw him to the ground and then picked up a rock and threw it in his face,” Molinari said. “We all saw his picture on the news. The one I like better is that one.”
Believing a picture was worth the proverbial 1,000 words, Molinari showed the alleged assailant with one word over his picture, “Apprehended.”MORE NEWS: Lashawn McNeil, Suspect In Deadly Harlem Police Shooting, Was On Probation, Had 5 Prior Arrests
And with the Jewish High Holy days approaching, officials said they are ramping up to cope with any new incidents. The NYPD is also increasing police patrols at synagogues, yeshivas and other locations. Some of the protection you’ll see and some you won’t.