Crown Heights yeshiva student shot in suspected hate crime

The suspected hate crime comes just days after the FBI launched an anti-hate crime initiative. 

By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News. 

A Yeshiva student was the victim of a hate crime attack in Crown Heights Monday, when he was shot from a passing vehicle with a BB gun. The victim was taken to hospital in stable condition, with a graze from the pellet on his face.

According to Yeshiva World News, the victim was shot at around 11pm. Although New York police and the Crown Heights Shomrim were on the scene almost immediately, the suspect had already fled in his vehicle.

The community has leapt into action to prosecute the suspected hate crime. Shomrim has gathered security camera footage of the vicinity, while NYPD and the New York City Mayor’s Office are working to ensure that the investigation progresses swiftly. Additional patrols have also been requested, to reassure the community.

The attack comes just four days after the FBI launched a nationwide anti-hate crime initiative in the wake of rising hate crime statistics.

In a press release, the FBI commented: “Victims and witnesses of any hate-related incident are encouraged to report the information to law enforcement. After a report is made, it is assessed by the FBI and then dedicated resources and specialized expertise are engaged to determine the best course of action for investigation and adjudication.”

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2020 saw the highest number of hate crime reports in twelve years, up six percent on 2019’s total, despite the fact that fewer law enforcement agencies reported their data to the FBI for the third year in a row.

A breakdown of the figures showed that in total there were 7.759 hate crime incidents in 2020, up from 7,314 in 2019. The figure is the highest since 2008, when 7,783 hate crimes went on record.

Hate crimes targeting Jews made up nearly 60 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes (the category in which antisemitic incidents are placed), with some 676 Jewish victims in 2020. This is a decrease on the 2019 figure of 953 antisemitic incidents.

Hate crimes targeting black people rose to 2,755, up from 1,930 in 2019, while anti-Asian crimes rose from 158 to 274.

These figures make Jews the most targeted community in America, per head of population.

Some 15,136 agencies reported their figures, 452 fewer than in 2019.

Following the release of the statistics, ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt commented: “As ADL has said time and time again, when just one individual is targeted by a hate crime, it negatively impacts the entire community, resulting in marginalized groups rightfully feeling vulnerable and under siege.”