In hopes of stemming a recent uptick in violent hate crimes against Williamsburg’s Hasidic community, this week, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, along with other local elected officials, including State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan, Assemblywoman Maritza Davila and representatives from the Offices of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmember Steve Levin, met with Rabbi David Niederman, Executive Director of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn (UJO), Williamsburg Shomrim, 90th Precinct Commanding Officer Mark DiPaolo and Patrol Borough Brooklyn North Commanding Officer Assistant Chief Jeffrey Maddrey to discuss solutions to the recent spate of hate crimes on members of the Hasidic community.
There have been several incidents over the past few months in which Hasidic Jewish community members were paintballed, attacked with bottles, and otherwise physically assaulted. The meeting was called at the request of Niederman to discuss how the community could become more involved in preventing these heinous crimes.
“We all came together because there is no better way to solve problems than with a broad coalition,” Lentol said. “No person should be subject to an assault – no matter their religion or the color of their skin. I know these perpetrators will be caught and I know that the NYPD and the Williamsburg Shomrim are hard at work to prevent any future attacks.”
NYPD top brass stressed the importance of using video cameras in the apprehension of perpetrators and also voiced how important it is for private security cameras to be in working order, as many times crimes are solved using their footage. While the group determined that video cameras act not only as a great tool for finding perpetrators, they are also a valuable deterrent and create a greater sense of safety in any community. The elected officials pledged to work together on an education campaign to inform residents of the value of having working security cameras and are in the process of securing additional funding to purchase more cameras for the area.
“It was clear from our meeting that additional security cameras are needed both as a deterrent and as an investigative tool for the NYPD,” Niederman said. “Williamsburg is a community that in recent weeks and months been targeted because of its Jewish residents in addition to being scouted previously by terrorists. We are confident that with the help of our State and City officials we can accomplish this goal and make Williamsburg safer for all its residents.”