Queens community rallies after subway attack
Residents of Queens, NY, are asking the police department and the city’s transportation leaders to both step up enforcement of hate crimes and soften their tone against Muslims.
The call for tolerance from New York City leaders comes after Sunando Sen, a Hindu-Indian immigrant who was mistaken for a Muslim, was pushed to his death from a subway platform in front of an oncoming train last week.
About 50 people demonstrated in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens this week. Police representatives and local councilmen joined the group in solidarity.
“I saw and talked with Sunando just moments before the incident,” Ranjit De Roy, a friend of Sunando, said to the group. “He was a quiet and gentle man who never harmed anyone. How many more lives must we lose to this racism?”
New Jersey family seeks answers in swastika graffiti case
A Summit, NJ family was shocked to find a swastika drawn on the side of their home last month, and reached out to the police and their community for support.
“It’s a combination of both heartbreaking and absolutely appalling. Someone put up a swastika on a wall less than 10 feet away from where their children’s swing set is. It’s just absolutely horrific and so unbelievable as to defy imagination,” Harper said.
“They are very grateful for the way in which the police in Summit have been really, really responsive, and have followed up very quickly and very aggressively. They are very grateful for that. Otherwise, it’s an absolutely awful and appalling situation.”
Local city council in California organizes walk to counter hate speech against Filipinos
Local leaders in American Canyon, CA, reached out to their city’s Filipino residents this week after one received a racist letter and posted it to Facebook.
American Canyon’s city manager organized a walk through the town in response to the hateful note. The entire city council turned out with signs saying “We Love Everyone in AmCan,” and they were joined by Mayor Leon Garcia.
Russ Heimrich, a spokesman for the cosmetology board, said the letter had nothing to do with his department.
"No one should think this is from our department," Heimrich said. "We think this is disgusting and despicable and will work with the appropriate authorities to find out who's behind it."
“Evidence of racism appears throughout the country from time to time and, unfortunately, we're seeing it here with this letter,” she said. “But it's very rare and surprising to see it here, in American Canyon, with its very diverse community."
Idle No More speaking out after attacks against native people
Native groups in Canada are reaching out to a First Nations woman who was brutally assaulted in a crime that police are investigating as a hate crime.
Idle No More has been described as Canada’s “Occupy” Movement, and its leaders reached out to the woman in support. They organized a candlelight vigil to commemorate the attack and to pray for the victims of sexual assault.
According to the Globe and Mail, the Ontario assault was not an isolated incident. At least 600 aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or been murdered in Canada in the past two decades. Native leaders say the number of victims is much higher.
Chief Peter Collins of the Fort William First Nation is in communication with the local police chief.
“We want to see them caught, prosecuted and convicted for what they did,” Collins told Indian Country. “This is one example of why our people are uniting and speaking out against the kind of racism and oppression our First Nations are facing. We will not be silent.”
Puerto Rico police step up enforcement of hate crimes
Last month, police in Puerto Rico took a step toward greater inclusiveness when it promised to step up enforcement of hate crimes against members of the LGBTQ community.
The PRPD announced that it will begin sending more information about hate crime statistics in Puerto Rico to the FBI, as well as mandate training for their officers that will teach them about interacting with people of different sexual orientations and gender identities.
“These provisions are designed to promote police services that are equitable, respectful, and free of unlawful bias in a manner that supports broad community engagement and effective crime prevention,” the PRPD wrote in their announcement.