Bias Crimes In New Jersey Grew At Record Rate In 2019

Peter Haskell
January 14, 2020 - 10:12 am
Gurbir Grewal

Gurbir Grewal

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The deadly shooting in Jersey City in December was far from the only hate crime in New Jersey in 2019 – rates of bias incidents in the state rose 65 percent from 2018, the highest year-to-year jump since records began in 1991.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that there were 944 bias incidents in the state late year, the highest since 1996.

"The latest statewide bias incident numbers are, in a word, troubling," Grewal said at a press conference.

Grewal also said that, as in the Jersey City shooting, many of the attacks were anti-Semitic.

"Law enforcement across the state, from police officers to prosecutors, are arresting and prosecuting those who commit bias crimes to the fullest extent of the law," Grewal said.

The state and federal government are joining up to create a new biased crime initiative. Grewal said the goal was "to enhance our information sharing, our intelligence sharing, to share our resources, to identify trends, to prevent criminal acts where possible, and when necessary, to hold those who commit such crimes accountable."

A bias incident in New Jersey is defined as harassment, threats, or attacks on a person "because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity."