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New York mayor Bill de Blasio has suggested that the NYPD or another city agency could confront residents accused of hateful conduct towards Asian Americans, even if the conduct did not rise to the level of a criminal case.
De Blasio encouraged residents to report any racist conduct towards Asian Americans to the city, which would then investigate and respond to the complaint. The mayor spoke amid increasing concern over anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes, with mayoral candidate Andrew Yang proclaiming he could “feel” hatred “on the streets of New York.”
Concerns were brought to a head by an Atlanta, Ga., shooting in which six Asian American women were killed. The shooter claimed to police that he was motivated by “sex addiction” and not anti-Asian animus.
“Even if something is not a criminal case, a perpetrator being confronted by the city, whether it’s NYPD or another agency, and being told that what they’ve done was very hurtful to another person—and could, if ever repeated, lead to criminal charges—that’s another important piece of the puzzle,” de Blasio said at a Thursday press conference.
When asked by Wall Street Journal reporter Katie Hogan how that process would work, de Blasio answered that the NYPD is already trained to deal with these types of incidents.
“The NYPD is a great example: one of the things officers are trained to do is to give warnings,” de Blasio said. “If someone has done something wrong, but not rising to a criminal level, it’s perfectly appropriate for an NYPD officer to talk to them to say, ‘that was not appropriate, and if you did that on a higher level, that would be a crime.’ I think that has an educating impact on people.”