New York City crime rose in March compared to the same time last year, with 36% homicides and a surprising increase in hate crime attacks on Asian Americans, police said.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose sharply last month, with 31 hate crimes reported in March 2021, and no one logged in the same month in 2020, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said Tuesday.
The Big Apple also saw a 36% increase in murders in March 2021, with 34 reported compared to the 25 homicides the year before. The number of shootings had also increased from 56 to 99 or an increase of almost 77%, police said.
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The total index crime increased slightly in March 2021 with an increase of 2.4% year over year, according to NYPD statistics. Nevertheless, the number of robberies and burglaries decreased during the month compared to March 2020.
Police saw an overall drop – though only 3% – in hate crimes recorded across demographic groups in March. But the NYPD also saw a 40% increase in hate crimes against individuals based on their sexual orientation, as well as jumps in hate crimes such as those classified as “ethnic” and “other,” police said.
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In one of the more notable incidents, a 65-year-old woman fell victim to an unprovoked attack on March 29 as she went to church in Manhattan.
Her attacker, who was later identified as 38-year-old Brandon Elliot, kicked and punched the woman repeatedly, telling her: “F — you, you do not think here, you Asian …” according to law enforcement documents and officials. Elliot was ordered detained without bail during his arraignment on charges of assault in the second degree as a hate crime and attempted assault in the first degree as a hate crime.
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Records show that Elliot, who was on parole for murdering his mother, is currently sitting on Rikers Island.