The New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force has been called in to investigate a report of aggressive anti-Semitic abuse spoken at a town planning meeting this week in Rockland County, reported News12 The Bronx.
“I have directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force and the New York State Division of Human Rights to assist local leaders responding to this incident,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a Twitter statement on Friday. “Hateful, anti-Semitic speech will not be tolerated. We will do everything we can to protect our communities from this abuse.”
The incident occurred on Wednesday night at a planning meeting that was speaking about the increasing Orthodox Jewish population in the area when a local resident began ranting about Jews.
"A certain sect of people tends to walk in the street, and nobody is wearing any reflective gear. So, if I run one of them over, and of course I'm going to back over them again,” said the local resident.
“Horrific anti-Semitism at a Haverstraw (Rockland County), NY meeting,” tweeted StopAntisemitism.org. “[A] town resident states he would run over Jews with his car and then back over them again.”
The chair responded by asking him to sit down. However, the man would not leave the podium. He then got into a hated conversation with councillors about stepping down from the podium.
Town of Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips said in a statement: "The Town of Haverstraw has always been a true melting pot of multiple cultures. We have never tolerated hate speech, nor will we."
Haverstraw Police Chief Peter Murphy stated he will be meeting with the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office to discuss whether the man’s statement broken any laws, local news site Lohud reported.
Hochul said she was concerned about the report of “violent rhetoric towards our Jewish community” at the planning meeting.
“Anti-Semitism, like all forms of hate, is horrifying and unacceptable,” Hochul said. “Everyone has the right to walk down the street without fear. New York, we are better than this.”