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Cuomo announces hate crime initiatives

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Posted at 3:37 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 15:38:25-05

With a recent increase in reports of discrimination, bias-motivated threats, harassment and violence, Governor Cuomo has announced a three-part action plan to protect civil rights and combat hate crimes.

Cuomo is looking to build a State Police Hate Crime Unit, expand New York's Human Rights Law to protect all students, and establish a new emergency legal defense fund for immigrants.

"New York is, and will always be, a place of acceptance, inclusion and a bastion of hope for all people," said Cuomo. "We will never allow fear and intolerance to tear at the fabric of who we are - New Yorkers are stronger than that, and we are better than that. With these decisive actions, we say to people of all backgrounds and beliefs: New York is your home and refuge, and we will do whatever it takes to keep you safe."

The State Police will create a new Hate Crimes Unit to investigate and offer assistance to law enforcement agencies investigating potential hate crimes.

Cuomo is also looking to expand New York State's Human Rights law. The current law only protects private school students, meaning if a public school student is discriminated against in school, that student has no claim. Cuomo wants to expand the law to include all students in New York.