Deutsch, BK Lawmakers Unite Against Attacks in Boro Park, Crown Heights

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City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) alongside the New York City Council’s Jewish Caucus, yesterday, denounced two recent assaults in Brooklyn against the Jewish community – one in Crown Heights and one in Boro Park, and outlined plans to prevent future bias incidents.

Deutsch was joined by Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, City Council members Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) and Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brownsville) and Public Advocate Letitia James, as he called for the attacker in the Crown Heights incident to be charged with a hate crime, similar to the perpetrator in the Crown Heights case.

The incidents include last Sunday, wehn a 62-year-old man at 46th Street and 13th Avenue in Boro Park was violently attacked by 37-year-old Farrukh Afzal, who beat the Jewish man down to the street in the middle of an intersection after chasing him down in broad daylight.

The second incident, took place Monday, when a teenager was caught beating a Jewish man with a stick as the man attempted to cross the street. However, in recent days, one of the men involved in helping the Jewish man to get away from the attacker claims it was not a hate crime.

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

“It’s hard to believe that a violent and unprovoked attack in broad daylight against someone who appeared obviously Jewish could be motivated by anything other than baseless hatred. I have yet to see any evidence that demonstrates an alternate motive for the assault in Boro Park. In a situation like this when a community is on edge and fearful, it is important for officials in leadership roles to be as transparent as possible with residents,” said Deutsch.

The South Brooklyn lawmaker also announced his plan to introduce two new bills into the city council.  The first bill would require the five New York City District Attorneys to report to the council on the motives of hate crime perpetrators.

The second bill would direct the New York Police Department (NYPD) Hate Crimes Task Force to initiate an educational unit, particularly to educate young people across the City about the impact of hateful symbols and internalized bigotry.

“It’s important to distinguish between a youthful indiscretion and a violent act motivated by deep-set hatred. Access to information about the intent of these crimes would aid the City in better addressing the root of prejudice, instead of simply reacting to crimes after they occur,” added Deutsch.

Public Advocate Letitia James
Alicka Ampry-Samuel
City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel

Other lawmakers decried the two incidents and promised to seek full criminal charges against perpetrators of hate crimes.

““These disgusting acts of violence and hate have absolutely no place in our City and no place in our country – not against our Jewish community or any other community. We will ensure that any person or group who partakes in such violence or hate is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law because that will never be tolerated here,” said James.

“These acts of violence are intolerable and will not be accepted. I strongly condemn any acts of violence, but especially those driven by senseless thinking and/or motivated by virtue of racial and religious bias. Now is the time to see the beauty in diversity. This is the perfect opportunity to bring together all faith leaders, of all races, on behalf of the community and on behalf of the victims affected by racial and religious bias,” said Ampry-Samuel.

Sen. Simcha Felder

“This week alone we witnessed two vicious, unprovoked attacks perpetrated on innocent people in broad daylight. It’s terrifying and unimaginable that hate crimes are on the rise in 2018.  I am urging DA Gonzalez to review this matter and prosecute these crimes as hate crimes, which is exactly what they are. We need more cops patrolling our neighborhoods to deter criminals and keep people safe and we need to prosecute these crimes to the fullest extent of the law,” said State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Boro Park, Flatbush, Kensington, Bensonhurst)