Mayor, police commissioner hold meeting on recent spike in anti-Semitic crimes

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MANHATTAN -

Both the mayor and the police commissioner are touting low crime numbers for October, but say despite that there has been increase in hate crimes.

During a meeting held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill discussed the recent spike in anti-Semitic crimes.

One of the most recent attacks took place in Brooklyn, where a group of teenagers is accused of throwing a pipe through a synagogue's window while people were inside.

The same teens are accused of also approaching a 14-year-old Jewish boy and flipping his hat off his head.

Investigators say they also believe the group is responsible for pushing a 10-year-old Jewish girl to the group a short distance away from the Franklin Avenue synagogue.

No one was hurt during any of the incidents.

Police say they are investigating the cases as possible hate crimes.

The police commissioner stressed that the NYPD is taking the uptick in hate crime incidents very seriously, and has already made a number of arrests, including the arrest of a man they say is responsible for two acts of hate. They say he is responsible for a fire set in Williamsburg and hateful messages written in Union Temple.

Police say an arrest was also made of the men responsible for drawing swastikas on property in Brooklyn Heights.

"We can't get into people's minds or hearts, but we can certainly try our best to stop it and we do that by actively investigating whether hate crimes task force and by working in conjunction with everybody in the community," says Commissioner O'Neill. "I think everybody in the city has a responsibility to help make sure this doesn't happen."

Officials are asking anyone who knows of someone who may be harboring hateful thoughts to call police.

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