NYC Mayor de Blasio calls Jersey City shootout an "act of terror," steps up security

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced tighter police protection of synagogues and other Jewish establishments in New York City as a precaution following the shootout in Jersey City that left six dead.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pronounced it a "deliberate attack on the Jewish community," and at a news conference on Wednesday morning, de Blasio said "it was an act of terror."

The mayor said that while there is no known threat to the Jewish community in New York City, the attack created a sense of sorrow, anger, and urgency across the Tri-State area.

The mayor ordered extra security at synagogues and other major Jewish organizations across the city.

NYPD police commissioner Dermot Shea also announced the creation of a new unit of around 25 members from different agencies to focus on hate groups and terrorism.

The city reports a 22% increase in anti-Semitic attacks, and de Blasio and Jewish leaders said this is age-old bigotry that has resurfaced.

"This confirms a sad truth," he said. "There's a crisis of anti-Semitism gripping this nation. There is a crisis of anti-Semitism in this city. It has continued to take on a more and more violent form all over this country. Now we have seen this extraordinarily extreme form of violence reach the doorstep of New York City."

Commissioner Shea said a lot of young people are committing these anti-Semitic attacks in New York City. For some reason, they think it's funny to paint a swastika or scare a group of Jewish children, he said.

"How can we as a community, as a people, be like that," said Rabbi David Biederman, of United Jewish Organizations. "Thank you for what you are doing, but as a society with the federal, state and city government working together erase that hate."

Shea added it is simply ignorance and hatred and young people need to learn more about the holocaust and the long history of suffering of the Jewish people.

Watch the complete news conference here:


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