New York Attorney General’s Office establishes hotline to report hate crimes against Asian-Americans

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FILE – In this June 11, 2019, file photo, New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference, in New York. New York state, New York City, Connecticut and Vermont have filed a new legal challenge to new Trump administration rules blocking green cards for many immigrants who use public assistance including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. James, a Democrat, says the change is a “clear violation” of American values and 100 years of case law. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(WIVB) – New York’s attorney general has launched a new hotline for New York residents to report hate crimes and incidents after harassment against Asian-Americans has spiked amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement from New York Attorney General Letitia James, in the last week alone there have been numerous reports in the state of Asian-Americans being harassed or physically assaulted.

“As we face an unprecedented and uncertain time for New York, the United States, and the world, we must reiterate the fact that this pandemic does not give anyone an excuse to be racist, xenophobic, or biased,” said Attorney General James. “No one should live in fear for their life because of who they are, what they look like, or where they come from. I encourage all victims of discriminatory actions stemming from this pandemic to contact my office. We will continue to work with local law enforcement to combat hate in all its insidious forms.”

Local law enforcement is responsible for criminally prosecuting perpetrators of hate-based violence, but the AG’s office will take on the issue in other ways, including connecting victims and impacted communities to available resources, launching civil investigations, and supporting local law enforcement.

The Attorney General urges those experiencing hate crimes and bias incidences to report them by emailing the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau at civil.rights@ag.ny.gov, or calling 1-800-771-7755. 

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