The New York Police Department announced on Monday the establishment of a Hate Crime Review Panel that will be led by a diverse group of community leaders to help officers combat hate-motivated violence.
Five civilian leaders have also joined the panel, including Devorah Halberstam, co-founder and director of external affairs at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, N.Y. Halberstam’s 16-year-old son, Ari, was shot and killed in a 1994 anti-Semitic attack on the Brooklyn Bridge.
The other community leaders on the panel are Fred Teng, president of the America China Public Affairs Institute; Pia Raymond, author, professor and social worker; Ed Powell, president of Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct Community Council; and David Warren, a member of Manhattan Community Board 4, a board member of the pedestrian safety coalition ChekPeds and an active member of OutCycling, a nonprofit LGBTQ cycling network.
The NYPD said in a statement that “collectively, our panelists represent decades of deep knowledge and vital experience. They will assess circumstances that present challenges in establishing whether a victim’s actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation were motivating factors in possible hate crime. Their contribution will enhance the department’s work and improve service to all New Yorkers.”
“Our continuing partnerships with the community remain the cornerstone of our policing philosophy,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “Whether teaming our cops up with the community to clean graffiti, partnering with esteemed advisors to reimagine policing for the 21st century or ensuring an independent assessment of all potential hate crimes, we are always striving to make the department fairer, stronger and more effective.”