FBI: Hate crimes rapidly rising in the Hudson Valley and across US

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NEW ROCHELLE -

The FBI reveals that hate crimes are still rising rapidly across the country, including in the Hudson Valley.

The number of hate crime incidents reported to the FBI increased by 17 percent from 2016 to 2017. There were 7,175 reported cases in 2017, compared to more than 6,121 in 2016. There were 552 hate crimes in New York.

Rabbi Andrew Ergas, of the Harold and Elaine Shames JCC on the Hudson, says his community has taken steps to work with law enforcement to keep the community safe. 

Westchester County has been no stranger to signs of prejudice.

Swastikas were found sketched in a locker room at New Rochelle High School last week, and swastikas and anti-Semitic speech were spray-painted earlier this month on a house under construction in Cold Spring.

"It's hard to point to any one single source as to why there has been an increase in hate crimes. We certainly know that we're living in a very divisive community - that we're hearing a lot of talk that used to be kept on the side and it's now made its way toward the center,” he says.

Rabbi Ergas says without strong statements made from law enforcement and community leaders, he wouldn’t be surprised to see it grow even more.

Recently, News 12 reported on white supremacy posters being posted near Croton-Harmon High School and SUNY Purchase, as well on the Vassar and Marist campuses.

The News 12 parking lot is no exception - the white supremacy group Identity Evropa putting a sticker on a light post here.

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