(JTA) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered the formation of a new statewide hate crimes unit following an “explosion of hate crimes” in the state.
“New York is, and will always be, a place of acceptance, inclusion and a bastion of hope for all people,” Cuomo said in a statement over the weekend. “We will never allow fear and intolerance to tear at the fabric of who we are.”
Cuomo made the announcement Sunday at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church and on Twitter.
“The divisiveness must stop and New Yorkers will not be bystanders to injustice. That is not the New York way. We will fight sexism and racism and bigotry wherever we see it,” Cuomo said.
“Hate crimes are not just sins, they are illegal. At this time of darkness, this state will bring light to illuminate the ignorance. To violate them is not just a sin. And New York will not allow the law to be violated,” Cuomo said. “We will enforce the law to the fullest extent. I am ordering the State Police to put together a special unit to address the explosion of hate crimes in our state. With trained professionals we will investigate every incident and prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law.”
Swastikas have been appearing around New York City and throughout the state since the Nov. 8 election.