Stepped up security at New York City mosques after New Zealand shootings

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Stepped up security at New York City mosques after New Zealand shootings
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NJ Burkett has the latest on the security at New York City mosques after New Zealand shootings.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Security has been stepped up at mosques in New York City and across the Tri-State Area in response to the mass shootings in New Zealand.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is also providing extra security for Muslim community centers and mosques and that he wants the city's Muslims to know that New Yorkers "truly embrace" them and "have their backs."

The NYPD says it is committed to the safety of all houses of worship and the freedom to practice religion "without any fear."

"Our hearts go out to the victims of this senseless, cowardly terror attack in New Zealand," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said. "To the Muslim community here in New York: We stand with you always, and we will remain vigilant in keeping you safe - and making sure you feel safe, too. The people we serve, in every neighborhood, must always be free from fear and have the immutable right to worship and live in peace."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the shootings a "disgusting act of bigoted violence" and said state police have stepped up their patrols statewide.

"My heart breaks for the victims of the horrific attack in New Zealand, and we grieve with the rest of the world," he said. "In the wake of this disgusting act of bigoted violence, which appears to be rooted in Islamophobia, New York stands with the Muslim community as we always have and always will."

WATCH: Brooklyn responds to New Zealand attack

Officers were seen outside of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York on the Upper East Side, and police cruisers will be assigned to fixed posts in front of mosques across the city Friday along with roving patrols by house of worship cars that are in communication with religious institutions.

The NYPD released the following statement saying they are monitoring the situation: "NYPD in conjunction with our law enforcement partners are closely monitoring events in New Zealand and out of an abundance of caution is assessing security at locations around the city."

The NYPD also has an officer stationed in Australia as part of its global counterterrorism program and has a very close relationship with law enforcement in New Zealand. The department has been receiving a constant stream of information.


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