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.
Today, @NYPDShea outlined two new efforts to help prevent Asian hate crimes.
✅Increased outreach to Asian American communities.
✅Adding layers of enforcement.
We’ll be using officers in plain clothes and in teams to prevent NYers from becoming victims in the first place. pic.twitter.com/yyxyggeBSG
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 25, 2021
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.
.@NYPDShea announces the retirement of Deputy Inspector Stewart Loo, a key architect of the @NYPDAsianHCTF. D.l. Loo has served NYC w/ distinction for 21 years. He will be sorely missed. The venerable Inspector Tommy Ng will now assume the role — ensuring a seamless transition. pic.twitter.com/plWfVP3hnk
— James T. Byrne (@ByrneJamesT) March 25, 2021
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 email@example.com who can assist with “non-emergency concerns.”
Feature Image via Asian Hate Crimes Task Force / New York Police Department