New York – While Brooklyn District Attorney’s office may have dropped hate crime charges against the car service driver who beat a 62 year old Chasidic man just seconds after nearly running down another Chasidic man with his car on Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to be taking a different view of things, vowing to fight anti-Semitism in a recent tweet.
The governor’s tweet comes just hours after a press conference was convened today by City Councilman Chaim Deutsch at One Police Plaza, with members of the City Council, Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and community leaders pledging to speak out against anti-Semitic acts as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2ymdzSm).
Cuomo linked his tweet to a news story on two attacks on Jewish men that took place on Sunday and Monday, a move that cast both incidents as anti-Semitic.
In addition to Sunday’s beating in Borough Park, a 26 year old Chasidic man was beaten with a tree branch in Crown Heights on Monday, sustaining injuries to his back and shoulder.
Police said that 18 year old Shervy Taylor of Canarsie was arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and possession of a weapon.
“Hate has no place in New York,” tweeted the governor. “I am directing the @NYSPolice Hate Crimes Unit to monitor these anti-Semitic incidents as well as all acts of bias and work with local law enforcement to ensure those responsible are held to account.”
Despite dropping the hate charges against Farrukh Afzal in Sunday’s attack, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez released a statement today saying that if further investigation proves that the car service driver was motivated by bias, the charges would be upgraded.
“Crimes of violence directed at individuals because of their race or religion will never be tolerated in Brooklyn, and I am committed to protecting every community and holding perpetrators of these crimes accountable,” said Gonzalez.
“The alleged assault committed by defendant Farrukh Afzal and captured on videotape was violent and unprovoked. We have already charged the defendant with a felony based on the evidence that was available immediately after the incident, and we are continuing to gather evidence and speak to witnesses to determine if additional charges should be added.”