New York hate crime legislation named after Monsey victim

Governor Andrew Cuomo announces he is renaming proposed state hate crime legislation in honor of Monsey stabbing victim who died on Sunday.

Elad Benari ,

Emergency teams respond to machete attack in Monsey
Emergency teams respond to machete attack in Monsey
Reuters

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that he is renaming proposed state hate crime legislation in honor of the Monsey stabbing victim who died on Sunday, JTA reports.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Josef Neumann, who suffered brutal stab wounds after an attacker invaded the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg on the final night of Hanukkah three months ago,” Cuomo said.

“This repugnant attack shook us to our core, demonstrating that we are not immune to the hate-fueled violence that we shamefully see elsewhere in the country,” he added.

The 72-year-old Neumann had remained in a coma from the time of the December 28 attack until his death on Sunday. He was one of five people who were stabbed while attending a Hanukkah celebration.

Following the attack, Cuomo proposed legislation that equates hate crimes with domestic terrorism. The legislation will be called the Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act.

Cuomo called on the state legislature to pass the act in the budget due this week.

“We owe it to Mr. Neumann, his family and the entire family of New York to get it done now,” he said, according to JTA.

The alleged attacker, 37-year-old Grafton Thomas, is facing federal and local charges. Thomas has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in Rockland County.

Federal prosecutors say Thomas targeted congregants celebrating the seventh night of Hanukkah at the Monsey home of Rabbi Rottenberg because of their Jewish faith.

Celebrants were forced to defend themselves by throwing furniture. Thomas fled the scene and was arrested several hours later.

One of the prosecutors has said in the past that if Neumann dies of his wounds, Thomas could face the death penalty.



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