FIRST ON FOX: New York City hate crimes complaints rose nearly 100% in 2021 and several types of bias crimes also skyrocketed – in some cases more than 340%, police statistics show, as the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says he is expanding his office’s hate crimes unit to address the uptick in racially motivated attacks.
Bragg, who took office at the beginning of the year, was speaking at a vigil for Yao Pan Ma, a 61-year-old Chinese immigrant who died on New Year’s Eve – more than eight months after he was the victim of a hate crime attack while collecting cans in East Harlem.
Jarrod Powell, 49, was subsequently arrested and charged with attempted murder and hate crime assault. Advocates attending Friday’s vigil called for the charges to be upgraded to murder.
Fox News Digital was first to obtain the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) total year-end hate crime statics, which show reports of anti-Asian attacks skyrocketed by a staggering 343% – from 30 in 2020 to 133 in 2021.
And reports of anti-Hispanic hate crimes soared 700%, with 8 last year compared to the single incident in 2020, the NYPD said. But reports of anti-Semitic attacks accounted for 38% – the plurality – of the hate crime cases covered by the NYPD last year.
In all, the NYPD received 538 reports of hate crimes last year – up 96% from the 275 in 2020.
On Friday, Bragg called anti-Asian hate "intolerable" and added, "We will not stand for it."
"Our [Asian American and Pacific Islander] brothers and sisters have been spit upon, coughed at, told to go back home," he said. "In my office we are deepening our capacity."
He continued: "We're expanding our hate crimes unit so that we can give these cases the resources that they deserve."
On Saturday, Michelle Alyssa Go was killed when she was pushed in front of an oncoming train while standing on a platform inside the Times Square subway station. Her alleged attacker, a homeless man named Simon Martial, was inside the subway station for only nine minutes before he struck, police have said.
Go, 40, was an Asian American woman who was an avid volunteer. Martial, 61, was charged with second-degree murder and was ordered held without bail. Police are still investigating whether the attack was racially motivated.
Bragg also spoke about hate crimes and anti-Asian attacks during an event with New York University’s School of Law on Thursday, when he was asked about how his policies will impact the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Bragg acknowledged that his office did not have enough lawyers focusing on the issue, and added: "We need to shift our resources from some of the things that I don’t think we should be giving primacy to, to something key, like the crimes."
Fox News’ Tamara Gitt and Paul Best contributed to this report.