Hate crimes against Asian Americans skyrocketed last month, with 31 hate crimes reported in March 2021, and none logged in the same month in 2020, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said Tuesday.
The Big Apple also saw a 36% increase in murders in March 2021, when there were 34 were reported compared to the 25 slayings the year before. The number of shootings was also up, from 56 to 99, or a nearly 77% increase, police said.
Total index crime increased slightly in March 2021, with a 2.4% increase year-over-year, according to the NYPD statistics. Nonetheless, the numbers of robberies and burglaries reported during the month were down compared to March 2020.
Police saw an overall decrease – though only by 3% – in hate crimes recorded across demographic groups during March. But, the NYPD also saw a 40% surge in hate crimes against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientations, as well jumps in hate crimes as those who were classified as "ethnic," and "other," police said.
In one of the more noteworthy incidents, a 65-year-old woman was the victim of an unprovoked attack on March 29, which she was walking to church in Manhattan.
Her attacker, later identified as 38-year-old Brandon Elliot, repeatedly kicked and punched the woman and told her: "F--- you, you don’t believe here, you Asian…" according to law enforcement documents and officials. Elliot was ordered held without bail during his arraignment on charges of assault in the second degree as a hate crime and attempted assault in the first degree as a hate crime.
Records show Elliot, who was on parole for murdering his mother, is currently being held on Rikers Island.