Is the NYPD investigating all hate crimes?

Some Jewish leaders say no
January 21, 2008 3:53:16 PM PST
Are police under-reporting bias attacks in Jewish neighborhoods? The charges are being made after a Hassidic teenager was attacked by a group of black teenagers in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The teen says they yelled anti Semitic slurs as they kicked and punched him.

Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett has more.

New York City's police commissioner rushed to Crown Heights today to reassure members of Brooklyn's Jewish community who insist authorities are discouraging residents from reporting hate crimes.

The latest victim is a 16-year-old boy.

"Where did that hate come from?" Asked Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hiking today. "Why did they feel hate toward a Jewish kid that they never met before? That they never had any dealings with? They felt like beating him up and they felt good about it."

Shmuel Balkany says he was attacked while walking to a friend's home at 10:30 Friday night. He told us five African-American teens surrounded him, taunted him with anti-Semitic insults and that then he was badly beaten. "The first thing I remember hearing was 'little Jew boy,'" says Balkany. "And then while they were pushing me they were like, 'you think you own this community. We'll kill you.'"

Shmuel's attackers haven't been caught.

Although police are investigating his attack as a bias crime, critics here say that does not always happen.

"There is an issue," says community activist Barry Sugar, "with the police department always trying to play down this racial tension in our community for politics. And that's wrong."

The commissioner today strongly disagreed.

"We have limited resources," said NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, "And I think they're deployed adequately and appropriately in this community."

The commissioner had praise today for his precinct commanders, and insisted that all allegations of anti-Semitism are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.