The New York Police Department announced the creation of an Asian Hate Crime Task Force after an increase in racist attacks against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since March 21, there have been 21 reported anti-Asian hate crimes that have resulted in 17 arrests, according to Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison, which he said is higher than normal.
Victims have been reluctant to speak with police during investigations, he said, because of language barriers, cultural differences and fear of the police. In May, Deputy Inspector Stewart Loo proposed the creation of an anti-Asian hate crime task force, hoping that through a dedicated team they could build a better rapport with the community.The team includes 25 Asian American officers that speak a second language, Loo said. Not having to use translators will increase investigators’ ability to develop relationships with victims and ultimately lead to more cooperation, he continued. Harrison noted that 4 of the 17 arrests were done with the help of the task force.