August 3, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Directs State Investigation into Distribution of KKK and White Supremacy Related Materials in Oneida and Other Counties

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Governor Cuomo Also Directs Hate Crimes Task Force to Launch Public Awareness Campaign to Help New Yorkers Fight Back Against Incidents of Hate

 

Governor Cuomo: "While President Trump and Republicans in Washington sow divisiveness and hate that is spreading like a cancer across the country, in New York we say not here, not now, not ever. I have directed State Police to investigate the appalling distribution of KKK material in several counties and send a clear message that New York has zero tolerance for intolerance."

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In response to the distribution of Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy related materials, including recruitment materials, in Oneida and other counties, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed State Police to investigate the distribution of white supremacy materials, to determine their origin and whether they are designed to promote or incite hate crimes, and to increase patrols in the area.  The Governor also directed the State Police's Hate Crimes Task Force and the Division of Human Rights to launch a public awareness campaign to combat hate and help New Yorkers report and fight back against incidents of hate.

 

"While President Trump and Republicans in Washington sow divisiveness and hate that is spreading like a cancer across the country, in New York we say not here, not now, not ever," Governor Cuomo said. "I have directed State Police to investigate the appalling distribution of KKK material in several counties and send a clear message that New York has zero tolerance for intolerance. Today more than ever, New York must fight against hate crimes and stand as a beacon of equality and diversity."

 

Governor Cuomo created the Hate Crimes Task Force in 2017 to fight the increase in reports of bias-motivated threats, harassment and violence throughout New York State. The Task Force, run by the New York State Police, has engaged county leaders, district attorneys, school district leaders, local police departments and other key stakeholders to identify and investigate hate motivated crimes and bias related trends, community vulnerabilities and discriminatory practices.

 

State Police Investigation

 

The Governor is directing State Police to investigate the distribution of white supremacy and KKK materials in several New York counties, including most recently in Oneida County, determine their origin, determine whether they are related to promoting or inciting hate crimes, and increase patrols in the area.  As part of the investigation, the State Police is offering assistance to both the local Police and County Sherriff's Office, increasing local patrols to monitor potential suspicious behavior, and sharing information with the Division of Human Rights during the course of the investigation. 

 

Additionally, the State Police will share information and resources from the New York State Intelligence Center.  As the State's fusion center, the New York State Intelligence Center serves as a repository of statewide criminal intelligence, including information on hate crimes.  The State Police will offer additional access to this resource so local law enforcement can utilize the extensive intelligence resources the State has to offer. 

 

The Division of Criminal Justice Services also administers funding for the statewide network of Crime Analysis Centers.  The State invests approximately $7 million to support nine Centers, including the Mohawk Valley Crime Analysis Center in Oneida County.  Click here for a map of the network.  The Mohawk Valley Crime Analysis Center has offered their assistance to local law enforcement and can provide an additional stream of intelligence support to these investigations.

 

Public Awareness Campaign

 

At the Governor's direction, the Hate Crimes Task Force will also work with local organizations on a public awareness campaign to combat hate and help New Yorkers report and fight back against hate crimes. The Task Force will deploy teams on the ground to conduct an educational outreach campaign and distribute information on how to file reports of hate crimes to the state, including by calling the free hotline or texting "HATE" to 81336.

 

In addition, the taskforce will hold a town hall in Oneida County to discuss local concerns, educate the community on their rights, and explain how to report hate crimes.

 

All New Yorkers who have experienced bias or discrimination are encouraged to call DHR's toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday or text "HATE" to 81336. If you want to report a crime or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.

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