Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Police: ‘No Indication’ of Hate Crime in Williamsburg Vandalism

A report in the New York Post Monday that a series of broken car windows in the Jewish neighborhood of South Williamsburg is alleged to be a hate crime may be overblown, said NYPD spokesman Det. Joseph Cavitolo.

“There is no indication that this is any type of bias crime,” said Cavitolo of the vandalism that occurred between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Nine windows have been found smashed.

The NYPD Hate Crime Unit is not currently investigating the crime.

Early last month, dozens of car windows in South Williamsburg were found shot out with a BB gun just blocks away from Saturday’s incident. The incident also occurred on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Cavitolo said that police have not determined what type of instrument was used to break the windows last weekend.

The neighborhood in which both incidents occurred is notable for its heavy Hasidic Jewish population. South Williamsburg is home to the largest group of Satmar Hasidim in the world. The Satmar, who originated in Hungary, are known for their rejection of modern American values (they rarely have televisions or computers), their strict Orthodoxy, and their rejection of the legitimacy of the state of Israel.

Late last month, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly acknowledged that New York has seen a 25 percent increase in hate crimes from last year, the largest spike in crimes occurring within the past few months. As of the end of last month, the NYPD recorded 126 anti-Semitic hate crimes. Only three of them, however, involved violence.


"they rarely have televisions or computers." The instance of having both, however, are significantly higher.


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