New York State Police will boost surveillance for potential hate crime threats, governor says

New York Governor Cathy Hochul announced on Sunday that law enforcement agencies would step up online and in-person surveillance in an effort to protect communities from hate crimes.

The governor’s order directs the New York State Police to “increased surveillance” on social media, and through physical outreach, to identify hate sentiment and potential threats to “communities that are potential targets of hate crimes.” Acting Superintendent Steven Nigrelli said in a statement that the state police would coordinate with federal authorities and local bureaus, including the New York City Police Department.

Hochul, who earlier this year directed the state police to create an intelligence unit that focuses on tracking domestic extremism, said the new surveillance order coincides with Saturday’s deadly nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs. —with comes in response to a series of perceived threats to the New. York City Synagogue that led to two arrests in Pennsylvania Station last weekend.

“Amid recent threats to Jewish and LGBTQ communities, I have directed @nyspolice to increase surveillance and support for communities that are potential targets of hate crimes,” the governor wrote in a statement. Tweet, “Here in New York, violence or bigotry will never be tolerated. We stand united against hate.”

Five people were killed and at least 25 others injured on Saturday night, ahead of the commemoration of International Transgender Day on Sunday. a mass shooting at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs. Police took the suspected gunman into custody and identified him as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, who police said is currently receiving treatment for injuries. Authorities said Aldrich opened fire after entering the establishment and was eventually subdued by at least two patrons, who confronted him. The gunman’s motive, and whether the shooting is considered a hate crime, is still unclear.

Earlier Saturday, in New York City, two people were taken into custody while entering Penn Station in connection with an alleged threat, officials said local synagogues targeted, According to the NYPD, the suspects, identified as 21-year-old Christopher Brown and 22-year-old Matthew Maher, were armed with a hunting knife, an illegal Glock 17 firearm and a 30-round magazine at the time of their arrest.

Police said FBI investigators had partnered with NYPD officers on Friday to investigate an “increased threat to the Jewish community.” Monitoring the suspects’ behavior on social media helped investigators find their lead the next day, Hochul explained at Sunday’s news conference.

“We are in contact with members of Jewish organizations, synagogues and others to let them know, once again, we understand the concern, fear, hate crime is real, and that New York State is doing everything possible to contain taking steps.” “The business of preventing crimes and preventing incidents and waiting for them to finally be solved,” Hochul said.

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