Police are ramping up their presence around the city’s Sikh houses of worship following the Wisconsin massacre in which a gunman killed six Sikhs during Sunday services.
There is no known threat against Sikhs in New York City, but critical response vehicles and additional resources have been deployed as a precaution, according to the NYPD.
Nassau County police also increased patrols.
“No matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter what religion you profess, you have a right to be safe,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday outside the Sikh Cultural Society in Richmond Hill, Queens.
He called southeast Queens the center of Sikh life in the U.S., with 15,000 practitioners in Richmond Hill and nearby.
Supreet Kaur, an advisory board member at the Sikh Coalition, a New York-based civil-rights organization, told Metro she was glad to see cops taking the shooting seriously.
“It is our sincere hope that people use this moment of tragedy to understand more about who Sikhs are and to understand that we really are Americans just like everyone else,” Kaur said.
Sikh hate crimes up since 9/11
There have been thousands of hate-crime, bullying and employment-discrimination incidents directed at Sikhs since the Sept. 11 attacks, according to Kaur. Both Sikhs and some Muslim men, including the Taliban, are known to wear turbans, but the two groups are not otherwise affiliated religiously or culturally.
Wisc. cop has local roots
Police officer Brian Murphy, who was shot nine times upon arriving at the scene of the Wisconsin massacre, was reportedly born in Brooklyn. He is also the brother of a recently retired NYPD detective, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday. Murphy remains in critical condition.