mta

Subway hate crime statistics to be sent to MTA

The MTA will now receive monthly updates on hate crimes reported in its facilities — a response to the citywide uptick in the crimes documented since the election of Donald Trump.

Hate crime stats will be packaged in the police department’s crime briefing, which currently includes data on incidents like murders, rapes and assaults that have occurred in the MTA’s subway and bus networks.

The briefing is presented to the New York City Transit and Bus Committee each month.

The addition comes upon request from MTA Vice Chairman Fernando Ferrer, as well as several board members, on Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill last week announced a 35-percent increase in hate crimes between the election, on Nov. 8, and Dec. 5, throughout the city. During that time there were 43 hate crimes documented. Some involved swastikas scrawled on sidewalks, park property and subway cars.

“If there is a material increase in those incidents, would it not be wise to report them as we do with every other?” Ferrer asked Vincent Coogan, assistant chief with the NYPD Transit Bureau, at Monday’s committee meeting.

Coogan said that his department can add reports on hate crimes to its briefings without much difficulty. The department already compiles the information internally.

“Yes, I’ll have that for you,” Coogan said. “We have a unit that’s dedicated just to investigate those crimes. … We take it very seriously. We always have.”

Board member Andrew Albert welcomed the inclusion of the stats. As did board memeber John Samuelsen, the president of TWU Local 100, the labor union representing MTA employees.

Last week, a Muslim MTA worker wearing her uniform and hajib was called a “terrorist” and pushed down a flight of stairs at Grand Central Terminal.

“There seems to have been an uptick,” said Albert. “And as much as we’re tracking other specific types of crimes, we should be tracking hate crimes.”

NYPD Releases Sketch Of Man Who Attacked Muslim MTA Worker

Police have released a sketch of the man who followed a hijab-wearing Muslim MTA worker off a subway train into Grand Central and pushed her down a flight of stairs on Monday. Officers describe the attacker as 25-35 years old, 5-foot-9 to 6 feet tall, and 150-180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark jacket and a black knit beanie.

Soha Salama, 45, was on the 7 train, headed to work as a station agent at around 6:20 a.m. Monday when police say the man approached, called her a terrorist, and told her "go back to your country." Salama disembarked at Grand Central Terminal and the man followed her, continuing to berate her with Islamophobic remarks, police said. When she reached a set of stairs, he pushed her, causing her to bash her right knee and twist her right ankle, according to the NYPD.

Salama told the New York Post she has lived in New York City for 20 years and never experienced such abuse. "I think this hate is raised after the election," she said, blaming President-elect Donald "There's something going on" Trump for fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment. "He leads people in the wrong direction."

Despite being surrounded by people throughout the ordeal, no one intervened, and Salama had to track down police officers herself, she said. The cops helped her into the station where she works, and summoned paramedics who transported her to NYU Langone Hospital.

Police told the New York Times that there has been a 35 percent increase in reported hate crimes so far this year, compared to the same period last year, and that there have been 43 possible hate crimes since Election Day, double the number reported during the same stretch of 2015.

Because this sort of thing should not be allowed to become routine, here is a photo of a marketed swastika with the message "PRAISE TRUMP" that a tipster sent yesterday, one of several such small graffitos that readers have flagged around the city in the last week or so, since they stopped garnering widespread press coverage. The message was spotted at the corner of 51st Street and Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen.