View Full Version : (New York) State lawmakers propose tougher penalties for hate crimes

The Bobster
03-03-2017, 09:03 AM

State lawmakers propose tougher penalties for hate crimes
By Kirstan Conley
March 2, 2017 | 7:51pm

Bronx Senator Jeff Klein
Stefan Jeremiah

ALBANY – A group of state lawmakers has proposed tougher penalties to crack down on hate crimes — including biased graffiti and vandalism of religious property — while authorities investigate a spate of incidents targeting targeting Jews across the state.

The Senate Independent Democratic Conference, led by Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein :orth:, proposed a package of bills on Thursday that would make graffiti targeting people’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation a felony hate crime.

Hate-inspired graffiti is currently a misdemeanor crime.

The group also wants to protect people from discrimination because of religious clothing and facial hair.

Another bill would make it a felony to damage property in cemeteries and burial grounds or to damage remains of the dead.

Finally, the group proposes withholding state aid from any college groups that boycott Israel. :mad:

“This is a country built on the principles of freedom and tolerance :rolleyes:, where individuals are welcome to worship freely,” Klein said.

“As the grandson of Holocaust survivors :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:, to see this occur in America in 2017 is deeply disturbing and we must send a clear message to anyone who believes that they could strike fear into any religious group: hate will not be tolerated in New York State.”

The proposal was unveiled as Gov. Cuomo announced that the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating destruction of headstones at the Waad Hakolel Jewish Cemetery :orth: in Rochester.

Authorities are looking into bomb threats and vandalism targeting Jews :orth: in several cities and towns, including those on Long Island, Staten Island, in Albany and Buffalo.

“This recent wave of anti-Semitic :orth: and anti-Islamic action runs contrary to the values and ideals of our state and our country,” Avella said.