Hate Crime Review Panel To Make Recommendations To NYPD

A new NYPD initiative is taking aim at hate crimes with the help of five diverse civilians. CBS2's Christina Fan reports.

Video Transcript

- A new NYPD initiative is taking aim at hate crimes, with the help of five diverse civilians.

- CBS 2's Christina Fan has more on the new review panel and the role it's taking on.

CHRISTINA FAN: The NYPD unveiled its newest tool in the fight against hate, introducing members of this Hate Crime Review Panel at 1 Police Plaza today.

DEVORAH HALBERSTAM: Today, we are facing nearly daily reports of hate crimes. We need to help stop this.

CHRISTINA FAN: The five community leaders represent the city's Black, Asian, Jewish, LGBTQ, and Muslim communities, and will help police determine which cases should be investigated as hate crimes. In attacks where the suspect's motivation is unclear, the panelists will review the circumstances and send their recommendations to the police and DA.

- We hope this review process, we can, through nuances in terms of looking at language, cultures, and other aspects--

CHRISTINA FAN: The announcement comes as hate crimes spike citywide, particularly those targeting Asians. So far this year, there have been 66 possible anti-Asian bias crimes, compared to 12 the same time last year. In many cases, the DA's reluctance to file hate crime charges has riled the Asian-American community.

- He was in possession of a knife.

CHRISTINA FAN: Back in March, protesters staged this rally over the decision not to charge Salman Muflihi with a hate crime, after he allegedly stabbed an Asian man in Chinatown because he didn't like the way the victim looked at him. Commissioner Dermot Shea hopes the panelists can take another look at cases like this.

DERMOT SHEA: If there's a gap because some people are still left wondering, was that the right thing? Is that why? This is an opportunity to have an independent, outside panel.

CHRISTINA FAN: The panel will begin their work immediately, meeting once a month in person and twice virtually. In Lower Manhattan, Christina Fan, CBS 2 News.

- Now, not only are anti-Asian bias crimes up, but so are arrests. The NYPD has arrested 31 people so far this year, compared to 12 the same time last year.