By Kevin Deutsch
The NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio Wednesday announced the formation of a new police unit tasked with stopping hate crimes before they happen.
The Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism squad will gather and analyze intelligence in an effort to crush extremist plots like Tuesday’s anti-Semitic mass shooting at a Jersey City Kosher supermarket.
While the police department’s existing Hate Crimes Unit reacts to crimes after they occur, the new squad will focus on prevention.
“There’s a crisis of anti-Semitism gripping this nation. There’s a crisis of anti-Semitism in this city,” de Blasio said in announcing the unit’s launch. “Now we have seen this extraordinarily extreme form of violence reach the doorstep of New York City, and we have to take that as a warning sign.”
Reported hate crimes in the five boroughs were up 21 percent as of Sunday, with anti-Semitic crimes up 22 percent. Those numbers do not include acts of hate that go unreported to police.