WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES FEBRUARY 25, 2021 7
Queens lawmakers stand united against hate
BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
A score of elected offi cials gathered
on the steps of Queens Borough
Hall condemning the rise
in bias crimes, particularly against the
Asian American and Jewish communities
in Queens in recent weeks and the
past year on Monday, Feb. 22.
“To those who look at their neighbors
with anger and resentment and act on
hate: Queens welcomes individuals
of all racial backgrounds, ages, faiths
and gender identities,” said Queens
Borough President Donovan Richards.
“If you do not share our values or our
shared future, you can gladly leave.”
He described hate crimes as a virus
that had been present long before
COVID-19. In 2020, New York City
saw 27 reported hate attacks against
members of the Asian American community.
In response, the NYPD created
the Asian Hate Crime Task Force to
In the past two weeks alone, a
woman in Astoria was accosted by an
individual spewing anti-Asian slurs.
In Flushing, 52-year-old victim Lee-Lee
Chin-Yeung was allegedly shoved to
the ground by 47-year-old Patrick Mateo,
who allegedly yelled racial slurs.
Chin-Yeung suff ered a laceration on
her forehead and required stitches.
And in Rego Park, a swastika was
painted outside the Rego Park Jewish
“For even just one of these incidents
to occur here in Queens, the most
diverse county in America is an affront
to everything we represent,”
Richards said. “But for three to happen
in one week, on top of everything our
borough has been through over the
past year? It’s time to stand and say
Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the
Asian American Federation, reported
that her organization had received 500
reported cases of hate incidents in New
York City but said that the number is
“People don’t want to go public; they
don’t want to report. I’ve so many New
Yorkers cry because they are afraid,”
Michael Miller, vice president of the
Jewish Community Relations Council
of New York, agreed with the borough
president, comparing hate to a virus.
A virus that is going to continue to
destroy and result in the unspeakable
if not addressed. While he has faith
in law enforcement, he also emphasized
that the root causes need to be
“We, as civic and community leaders,
need to do more. Children are not born
as haters. If they can be taught to hate,
we need to be there fi rst, to educate,
to model, to accept, to love. We need
to tear down the silos and robustly
engage in coalition building,” Miller
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney
Harrison made it clear that the NYPD
is committed to investigating every
single hate crime early and identifying
the perpetrators and bringing them
“That’s why we created our hate
crimes task force. We have 25 investigators
that speak 11 diff erent dialects
that are willing to work with all New
Yorkers. But we cannot do it by ourselves,”
he said before urging New
Yorkers to come forward if they have
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards speaks out against hate
crimes in Queens on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Photo by Garbiele Holtermann
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