New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is requesting that law enforcement agencies statewide be vigilant about identifying and reporting possible hate crimes.
Surrounded by civil rights advocates Thursday in Manhattan, Schneiderman said he sent a bulletin to local district attorneys and police chiefs to remind them of state bias crime statutes and the need to report violations.
The bulletin offers guidance in identifying, investigating and prosecuting hate crimes against immigrants, minorities and people of various sexual and gender identities.
The attorney general met with leaders of the immigrant community earlier in the day to discuss concerns about the increase in hate crimes and harassment.
“As the state’s top law enforcement officer, let me assure anyone who is feeling scared or threatened that this office stands behind you and has your back,” he said.
Hundreds of hate crimes have been reported since Donald Trump’s election as president, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and acts of injustice. The FBI reported Monday that the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. reported last year were highest since the 9/11 attacks.