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Suffolk County Announces Task Force To Prosecute Hate Crimes Amid Spike In Anti-Asian Violence

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As violence against Asian Americans increases across the U.S., leaders on Long Island have created a special hate crimes task force. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

DANA TYLER: Good evening, I'm Dana Tyler. With violence against Asian-Americans increasing across the country, leaders on Long Island have created a Hate Crimes Task Force. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports Suffolk County Law Enforcement is pledging action.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Wei Wei Zhang is galvanizing her Long Island Asian-American community amid continuing pain.

WEI WEI ZHANG: In Plainville, a Uber driver, he refused to take a Asian-faced person. Go back to China, even though he's a American, too.

TIMOTHY SINI: Our message is very simple. We will not tolerate hate in Suffolk County.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Suffolk DA Tim Sini, flanked by eight Assistant District Attorneys with special training in bias-related offenses, launched a special unit to prosecute hate crimes.

- Having a stand-alone Hate Crime Unit is very unique.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Besides jail, those convicted will receive anti-bias education in collaboration with the Human Rights Commission.

LYNDA PERDOMO-AYALA: Very painful, whether it's female, male, transgender, black, Brown, Asian. It escalates very quickly.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The task force comes on the heels of mandatory police reform across the state. Victims say hate crimes and bias in policing perpetuate a message of intolerance and discrimination that reverberate throughout an entire community. Recent Justice Department statistics reveal Black drivers in Suffolk County were four times more likely than whites to be pulled over in traffic stops, and Hispanic drivers twice as likely.

ROBERT JOHNSON: We're policed different over here. They want to pull us out our car and search us. I was scared.

DAWN LOTT: It's very alarming. I speak from personal experience, the color of my skin. But the statistics do not lie.

STEVE BELLONE: Diversity that exists in this county is a strength of ours that we celebrate.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Urging citizens to report each and every hate crime, pledging all will be investigated and brought to justice. From Suffolk County, Long Island, Jennifer McLogan, CBS2 News.