Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini has announced the creation of a Hate Crime Task Force to tackle bias-related incidents.
“Our nation is in the throes of a crisis right now in which members of non-white communities are being targeted and victimized,” Sini said. “Recently, members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community have experienced a heightened number of attacks, which goes against everything we value as Americans. We want our community to know that these acts will not be tolerated here. We will not stand to let racism go unchecked in this County, or to turn a blind eye to crimes committed out of hate and discrimination. Our message here today, collectively, is ‘Not on our watch.’"
Prosecutors will work with the Suffolk County Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit and the county’s human rights division.
The Task Force will investigate suspected hate crimes and pursue enhanced charges when appropriate.
There will also be “stop bias” training for all who are convicted and sentenced for hate crimes.
“We want our communities to feel comfortable and confident to come forward and report any incident of hate,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “Together, with our law enforcement and community partners, we will hold accountable those who spew hate and spread fear. The Hate Crimes Task Force will bring additional tools and resources and provide a true partnership to investigate and charge individuals with hate crimes.”