New York – Two Muslim women working for authorities in New York suffered hate crimes just 36 hours apart, officials said Monday.
A uniformed city transit employee was taken to hospital with injuries to her knee and ankle after being pushed down the stairs at Grand Central Station on her way to work on Monday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that a male suspect allegedly pushed the station agent and called her “terrorist.”
Earlier on Monday, authorities released another man who was held on a $50,000 bail on a hate crime charge after he harassed an off-duty Muslim police officer in Brooklyn while out with her 16-year-old son Saturday evening.
Cuomo said swastika graffiti was found on subway train on Saturday and that Ku Klux Klan fliers and business cards were distributed at two stations on the Long Island Rail Road last week.
Democratic Mayor Cuomo said hate crimes would be prosecuted and not tolerated.
“The work of the Hate Crimes Task Force has never been more urgent and we will continue to crack down on this type of criminal behavior,” Cuomo said.
The hijab-wearing police officer and her son were subject to “ugly acts of hate, including threats of violence, simply because they are Muslim,” said acting Brooklyn district attorney Eric Gonzalez.
“Those who commit hate crimes will be held accountable for their reprehensible and offensive actions,” Gonzalez added.
Police said Monday that hate crimes were up 35 percent in the city from last year but that arrests in those cases were also up 45 percent. Most reported hate crimes are anti-Semitic, police said.
New York is America’s largest city and one of its most diverse, with more than three million of its 8.55 million populations foreign-born.
About 900 incidents of hate and intolerance were recorded across the country in the first 10 days after Trump’s election; many by attackers apparently inspired by his victory, AFP reported an advocacy group last week.
On Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio asked government officials for $35 million to cover the cost of protecting President-elect Donald Trump until the inauguration on January 20.
De Blasio said at a press conference Monday that he would send letters to President Barack Obama, Congress and administration officials to “formally initiate” a reimbursement process for security costs.