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Suffolk County Bill Would Provide New Ways For Hate Crime Victims To Seek Justice

People take part in a rally against hate and confront the rising violence against Asian Americans at Columbus Park in the Chinatown section of Manhattan borough of New York, on Sunday, March 21, 2021.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
/
Associated Press
People take part in a rally against hate and confront the rising violence against Asian Americans at Columbus Park in the Chinatown section of Manhattan borough of New York, on Sunday, March 21, 2021.

A new bill from the Suffolk County Legislature aimed at combatting anti-Asian hate would make it illegal to discriminate because of a perceived connection between someone’s race and COVID-19.

The bill allows victims of hate incidents to submit complaints to the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission to get damages of up to $10,000.

County Legislator Jason Richberg of Wyandanch voted for the bill and said it would create a new way for victims to seek justice.

“Hate crimes in Suffolk county are not reported. That does not mean that they do not happen. And I think by giving an avenue to folks who are aggrieved to go through the Human Rights Commission gives an opportunity to let their voices be heard,” Richberg said.

New York state had 517 anti-Asian hate incidents between March 2020 and March 2021. Nassau county had 26 and Suffolk county had 10.