New York Deploys Undercover Asian Agents to Combat Hate Crimes

plain clothes

In an effort to end the violence against Asian Americans, New York City will deploy officers to the streets in plain clothes starting this weekend.

The plan, part of a two-pronged approach announced on Thursday, will use an all-Asian team of police officers, according to New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

“If you are going to commit a hate crime in New York City, we will find you,” Shea told reporters. “We are not going to tolerate anyone being targeted because of the color of their skin, the religion they worship, their sexual preference or anything else.”

So far, the city has recorded a total of 26 anti-Asian incidents in 2021. A dedicated Asian Hate Crimes Task Force is responsible for investigating such incidents.

The undercover agents will patrol public areas such as subways, grocery stores and other locations, according to Reuters.

“The next person you target whether it’s through speech, menacing activity — or anything else. Walking along a sidewalk or on a train platform may be a plainclothes NYC Police officer. So think twice,” Shea added.

Chief of Department Rodney Harrison described the complement as a “robust team.” However, he declined to specify the number of officers involved, according to ABC 7 NY.

The new plan coincides with the retirement of Deputy Inspector Stewart Loo, who served as a key architect of the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force. Inspector Tommy Ng is replacing.

Aside from deploying an undercover force, New York police are also ramping up outreach efforts. Community forums were recently held in Chinatown, Flushing and Sunset Park. There is also a direct email to hate crimes task force investigators at who can assist with “non-emergency concerns.”

Feature Image via Asian Hate Crimes Task Force / New York Police Department

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