NYPD hate crime review panel releases its first findings

The NYPD hate crime review panel released its first findings Tuesday, calling it a step towards transparency in understanding how to handle investigations.
The members of the panel include civilian leaders in the Jewish, Muslim, Black, Asian and LGBTQ community in the city. The goal of the panel is to independently look into how the police department investigates hate crimes and provide recommendations based on the findings.
The panel reviewed more than 100 crimes and the investigations that followed. Members found that while an overwhelming majority of the time they agreed with the NYPD's determination on how to handle the case, they highlighted two cases that were escalated to bias incidents.
One of the incidents included a partial swastika drawn on a home in a Jewish neighborhood and another where a swastika was drawn on the sign-in sheet of a Jewish doctor's office.
"Our mission was to review the NYPD process and advise when we deemed necessary," says panel member Devorah Halberstam. "The NYPD truly takes bias motivated crimes with the utmost seriousness."
According to the NYPD, as of Dec. 5 there have been 503 hate crimes reported this year. That's up 100% since last year. One of the biggest jumps was anti-Asian crime as well as antisemitic and homophobic crimes. Police say 249 people were arrested this year on hate crime charges.