By Tyronda James
There has been an increase in hate crimes in New York State and across the nation, and in response, the Task Force on Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes has been assembled by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) to combat this growing threat.
The task force will examine the factors that have led to the increase in hate crimes, make legislative and policy recommendations, suggest improvements to the federal and state legal systems response to hate crime, and help to better educate the public on the value of diversity and inclusion.
Additrionally, the NYSBA will host a panel of legal, national security and other experts entitled, “White Nationalism and Domestic Terrorism in America,” that will be moderated by Syracuse University College of Law Dean and Law Professor, Craig M. Boise.
The Presidential Summit panel event – a part of NYSBA’s weeklong 143rd Annual Meeting will take place Wednesday, Jan. 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan.
Due to recent spikes in bias-motivated hate crimes in New York, the emergency task force commits to completing their work swiftly. Relatedly, the associations House of Delegates at its meeting Jan. 31, will consider recommendations made by a separate but related Task Force on Mass Shootings and Assault Weapons.
“The promise of our country lies in the government’s ability to protect citizens of all religions, races, and ethnicities,” said NYSBAs president Henry Greenberg. “The recent spike in bias-motivated hate crimes threatens the nation’s bedrock principles of equality and freedom from persecution.”
“It also undermines New York States’ obligation to safeguard its residents from bigotry and violence.”
Greenberg said they were compelled to take action.
“Of all the places in the country to have to cope with this level of violence, anger and intolerance, it makes you weep,” Greenberg said.
“We can’t despair. We have to do something about it.”
The members of the task force will include various attorneys and judges from around New York. Included are NYSBA president-elect Scott M. Karson, former Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Bureau Chief Gail Heatherly, Attorney Joon H. Kim, as well other notable figures from around New York State.
The panel is expected to start its work immediately and develop policy recommendations!
“As a bar association, we must do everything in our power to make sure that New York state residents can once again feel safe in their places of worship and everywhere in their communities. This is a basic human right,” Greenberg said.