Gov. Hochul signs 2 anti-hate crime bills
NEW YORK -- Gov. Kathy Hochul is launching a plan to combat hate crimes.
The governor's move follows high-profile incidents targeting specific groups.
Saturday night, a gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado , killing five people. The suspect faces hate crime charges.
Friday night, MTA officers caught two men inside Penn Station who allegedly plotted to attack synagogues in the city .
CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer shows us what Hochul is doing to fight back against hate.
Watch: Gov. Hochul announces action against hate crimes
For a governor from Buffalo who just six months ago faced the emotional turmoil of having ten of her neighbors killed in a racially motivated attack at a local supermarket , preventing hate crime in New York is as personal as it gets.
"Anybody raises a hand or causes harm to a single New Yorker, you're picking a fight with 20 million others, starting with your governor," Hochul said Tuesday.
Hochul, in a passionate speech that invoked the Statue of Liberty, also demanded action against social media platforms after two men were arrested in Penn Station for allegedly plotting to attack New York City synagogues. They trumpeted their plans on Twitter, but the governor called on the Federal Communications Commission and the courts to crack down social media and the dark web, implicated in the Buffalo massacre.
"This is a wildfire burning out through society and there is a way to stop it, and we need to have the moral clarity to stand up and call on those who have the power to make the changes," Hochul said. "We can't fully protect society as long as there's unfettered speech inspiring acts of violence and crimes."
Steven Nigrelli, the acting superintendent of the state police, backed the governor up.
"Not to be dramatic, but who thinks that's acceptable in our society, that we've created and allowed by law platforms like that to exist? That is a hurdle we must overcome," he said.
The governor signed two anti-hate bills; one requires people convicted of hate crimes to undergo mandatory training in hate crime prevention to "deradicalize" them, and the other establishes a statewide campaign to promote tolerance and diversity.
"No one deserves this. We all have a God-given right to walk the streets, go and worship, be safe in our homes, our subways and our clubs. That is a God-given right as a New Yorker, and we're here to protect that. So here, we're putting words into action. This hatred, this violence will not be tolerated, not now, not ever," Hochul said.
The governor also set aside $50 million to provide grants to community groups to protect themselves from domestic terrorism to hire security guards, train their staff and acquire cameras and other high-tech gear.
The governor says she will also convene a unity summit to bring together community groups and government agencies to stand against hate, discrimination and violent extremism.