Cuomo un­veils three-part plan to bat­tle hate crimes

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By David Klepper

Gov. An­drew Cuomo has di­rected the New York State Po­lice to cre­ate a spe­cial unit to in­ves­ti­gate re­ports of hate crimes in the wake of what he said is “a whirl­wind of hate and divi­sion all across this coun­try.”

The Demo­cratic gov­er­nor also an­nounced plans to cre­ate a le­gal de­fense fund for im­mi­grants who can­not af­ford an at­tor­ney and said he will in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion ex­pand­ing the protections un­der the state’s hu­man rights law to cover all pub­lic and pri­vate school stu­dents statewide.

Cuomo an­nounced the three ini­tia­tives Sun­day at the Abyssinian Bap­tist Church in Man­hat­tan as part of a plan to com­bat hate crimes in the af­ter­math of the di­vi­sive pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

“We will never al­low fear and intolerance to tear at the fab­ric of who we are New York­ers are stronger than that, and we are bet­ter than that,” Cuomo said. “With these de­ci­sive ac­tions, we say to peo­ple of all back­grounds and be­liefs: New York is your home and refuge, and we will do what­ever it takes to keep you safe.”

Cuomo’s plan is a re­sponse to what he called the “ugly po­lit­i­cal dis­course” that didn’t end with Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump’s win over Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton in this month’s elec­tion.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are un­der­way into a num­ber of al­leged hate crimes com­mit­ted af­ter the elec­tion.

In one, a swastika and “Make Amer­ica White Again” were scrawled onto a wall at a soft­ball field in Wellsville, New York. In an­other, a swastika along with the word “Trump” was found in the com­mon area of a dorm at SUNY Geneseo. Po­lice are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing swastikas scrawled on dorm room doors at The New School in lower Man­hat­tan.

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