In a letter to the president-elect, officers said the campaign rhetoric had driven the spike in hate incidents.
By Frank Kineavy
A group of Muslim police officers in New York City have called for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump as the number of hate crime incidents in the city increases.
New York has seen a 115 percent jump in hate crimes since Trump’s election, according to police. In a letter to Trump penned on behalf of the Muslim cops by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, they sought guidance on how the group could combat these incidents.
“Without a doubt, the rhetoric of this campaign season has been a driving factor in a large number of these incidents,” Adams wrote in the letter, pleading with Trump to meet with representatives of the city’s Muslim cops. New York has the largest number of Muslim officers in the country. Adams said these officers “deserve guidance on how they will be protected. Moreover, the welfare of these officers speaks to the greater welfare of the millions of law abiding Muslim Americans, many of whom are fearful at this juncture in history.”
Trump has yet to respond to Adam’s letter sent last week.
The outreach to Trump was spurred by the recent alleged hate crime against a female Muslim NYPD officer. Aml Elsokary was off duty and wearing a hijab when she confronted a man in Brooklyn who had just shoved her teenage son. The man, identified as 36-year-old Christopher Nelson, proceeded to call Elsokary a member of the Islamic State and threatened to slice her throat. “ISIS b*tch, I will cut your throat, go back to your country,” he said, according to police. Nelson was arrested and charged with menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his support of the city’s Muslim officers during a press conference last week with Adams and the NYPD Muslim Officers Society. Adams reiterated that Muslim officers “are not only the first line of defense on our streets; they are ambassadors of the American diversity they represent.”
After a very unorthodox campaign, in which Trump drew the ire of Muslim Americans due to his controversial statements regarding Islam and terrorism, community leaders are urging the president to address these incidents.
Hate crimes this year have been on the rise and many point to the tumultuous campaign season and election of Trump as a catalyst for these incidents. How the president-elect responds will be telling of whether his bold campaign statements were merely an act to acquire votes or whether there was truth behind those hurtful words.