A post-Election Day surge in hate crimes led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to create a special police unit to stem the flood of racist incidents, CNN reports.
Speaking Sunday at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, Cuomo said, “The ugly political discourse of the election did not end on Election Day. In many ways it has gotten worse, [turning] into a social crisis that now challenges our identity as a state and as a nation and our people.”
In addition to the special unit, Cuomo plans to launch several other protective measures. Already in place is a toll-free hot line to report incidents. In the works are a legal defense fund for immigrants and the expansion of human rights law to protect bullied or discriminated students.
The governor’s office reported that the state’s Division of Human Rights received more than 400 calls reporting discrimination since Friday.
New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said hate crimes are up 31 percent this year compared to 2015—that’s an increase from 250 incidents this time last year to 328 incidents so far in 2016.