Nearly Half of Perpetrators of Hate Crime Attacks are “Emotionally Disturbed People,” the NYPD reports
By Yehudit Garmaise
Nearly half the people who perpetrated hate crime attacks in 2022 had previously documented incidents that caused the NYPD to designate the suspects as “emotionally disturbed people,” Deputy Inspector Andrew Arias, the head of the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force, told the City Council at a virtual hearing on Tuesday.
Arias said that out of 100 suspects arrested in 2022, 47 already had brushes with the law in which police described them as people “who appear to be mentally ill or temporarily deranged,” Arias told Gothamist, while adding that the NYPD could “better partner with mental health professionals.”
“Anti-Semitic incidents increased the most this year, increasing by 72%,” said Arias, of the 202 confirmed hate crimes NYC saw between January 1st and May 1st: a 27% increase from the same period in 2021.
Many city council members blamed the current shelter and criminal justice systems for not providing sufficient mental health screenings, nor long-term mental health care that could prevent violent crimes.
Providing better care for New York City’s emotionally disturbed population are “important efforts that will ultimately bear fruit,” state Sen. Simcha Felder told BoroPark24, but the results of the new administration’s approaches will not be “like magic.”
“We have to give a chance to Adams and NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who are trying to fix terrible problems that don’t just stop the second they are treated in different ways.”
One previously innovative and successful policing technique to fight hate crimes, Sen. Felder remembered, was when NYPD police officers dressed as the minorities who live in their precincts.
“The main benefit of the program was that the word got out that undercover police officers were patrolling minority neighborhoods,” Sen. Felder said. “So even an evil or a crazy person might think to himself, ‘If I do anything to this guy, he might be a cop.’”