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New York - OpEd By Brooklyn DA Gonzalez: Justice for Hate Crimes Victims

Published on: October 18, 2018 10:47 AM
By: OpEd By Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez- VIN News
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FILE - Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez with VIN News reporter Sandy Eller FILE - Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez with VIN News reporter Sandy Eller

New York - As Brooklyn’s top prosecutor, I am committed to protecting all communities – including the Orthodox Jewish community – from hate-fueled violence and to holding those who commit hate crimes accountable.

Violent crime is always traumatic for the victim, and the victim’s family. But crimes of violence that target individuals because of their religion, race or other identity strike at the heart of an entire community. They instill fear and vulnerability far beyond the direct target, and for those who have lived through past horrors, trauma that is never far from the surface is made fresh once again.

As a son of Brooklyn, it outrages me to see any of my neighbors victimized, especially if the motive is who they are or how they worship.

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But as the top law enforcement officer in Brooklyn, it is not enough for me to be outraged. My responsibility is to bring those who commit these heinous acts to justice. Justice requires us to be deliberate, methodical, and careful. If we react at the speed of Twitter, we will undermine our ultimate goal.

To ensure that justice is served in these critical cases, my office has a dedicated Hate Crimes Unit staffed by senior prosecutors. They work closely with the NYPD to ensure that we gather all the relevant evidence and assess each piece of evidence meticulously.

Our prosecutors do their jobs carefully to protect the due process rights of the accused—rights that are critically important to make sure that no one is falsely accused and that our justice system is – and is perceived as – fair to everyone.

They also take special care in building the strongest case possible to ensure justice for victims—those directly harmed, and those in the wider community who are made to feel unsafe in their own neighborhoods.

I’ve been a prosecutor for more than 20 years. I’ve seen cases fall apart and guilty individuals acquitted when police or prosecutors rushed to bring a case when emotions were running high. I do not intend to make that mistake. I would rather take the time to do the job correctly and achieve a verdict that will stand up to scrutiny than rush to bring a politically expedient case that will not achieve justice for the victims in the long run.

I am confident in the skill and professionalism of the hate crimes prosecutors in my office. Since I took over as DA two years ago, my office has filed hate crime charges in about 70 cases, 25% of those involving anti-Jewish bias, and we will continue to prosecute these cases vigorously.

I am also confident that these ugly acts, as unsettling as they are, do not reflect who we truly are as Brooklynites. In the face of rising intolerance across the country and around the world, leaders in every religious community and activists of every race and ethnic background in Brooklyn have spoken out, organized, marched, and voted to reject hatred.

Those of us who have united in defense of our brothers and sisters in every community far outnumber the bigots, and we will never back down in the face of their hate.

Eric Gonzalez is the Brooklyn District Attorney



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Read Comments (18)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Oct 18, 2018 at 10:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Nice piece proffesionaly written but your actions scream alot louder than this piece, and the Jewish community who supported electing you is getting a raw deal!

2

 Oct 18, 2018 at 10:54 AM inNY Says:

I happen to agree with the DA..

3

 Oct 18, 2018 at 10:56 AM bg clo Says:

We had tremendous corruption in past 25 years in the DA's office in Brooklyn, many innocent people were convicted and jailed, so Eric is more careful now days.. he has a good point.

4

 Oct 18, 2018 at 10:59 AM bpyid Says:

The facts on the ground, clearly this was a hate crime, he tried running down a few other Jews before he hit Mr Schwartz, I wonder what makes a crime a hate crime.

5

 Oct 18, 2018 at 10:59 AM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

so in other words, Gonzalez to Jews- drop dead, I am a liberal and that's all that matters, I defend and don't prosecute illegals but jews and hate crimes who cares. good PR work, but he would never do this to blacks or gays

6

 Oct 18, 2018 at 11:15 AM bklyn Says:

While the DA is right for being cautions, I think here is on the side of error.

7

 Oct 18, 2018 at 11:32 AM JacobN Says:

I must have missed something but why is this not a hate crime?

8

 Oct 18, 2018 at 11:39 AM Kingsc Says:

Mr. DA, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now, the next white, black, Gay, crime, I will monitor how you will handle it, and then judge you.

9

 Oct 18, 2018 at 11:53 AM getitright Says:

Define when hate charges are appropriate-

Explain why they are NOT to be used in this case.

As targets of hate, in his own words of 25% of the convicted cases since his reign began- we have a right to know, we have a need to know.

10

 Oct 18, 2018 at 12:19 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Reply to #7  
JacobN Says:

I must have missed something but why is this not a hate crime?

because the victim was NOT a black, Latino, gay, Muslim or other categories of "oppressed" people under attack by Trump just like those categories cannot be racist (notwithstanding Farrakham, wright, Sharpton, Jackson) or anti-Semitic. Only straight white Judeo-Christians can have hate. All the people above agreeing with this accidental DA (Thompson died) would probably also orderly march into the crimetoria.

11

 Oct 18, 2018 at 12:50 PM Anonymous Says:

The DA owes this community an explanation. We all saw the video and we all feel the fear. If he cannot explain himself, his rhetoric and beautiful speeches are worth a dime. He will be replaced at the next election.

I would have found an ounce of consolation if he told us that this was not a hate crime but a terror attack. But he is out to protect a Muslim. Anything to do with the mayor?

12

 Oct 18, 2018 at 01:49 PM getitright Says:

there has been some info to the effect ...that the victim didn't understand what the assailant was saying, to qualify as HATE there needs to be comprehension.

13

 Oct 18, 2018 at 02:24 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

don't worry by his next Chanukah party all those same self appointed "leaders" and askanim will be kissing up to him, you can copy and paste the faces its always the same nobodys.

14

 Oct 18, 2018 at 03:12 PM Butterfly Says:

We always get short changed!!!

15

 Oct 18, 2018 at 03:19 PM Deblasio Says:

Classifying it as a hate crime will bring up the hate crime rate on the books, which is not good for the local police commander because it won't look good for their Boro South bosses because it wont look good for their bosses in 1 police Plaza because it wont look good for the Mayer....

The entire system is rigged against the victim

16

 Oct 18, 2018 at 04:05 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Reply to #12  
getitright Says:

there has been some info to the effect ...that the victim didn't understand what the assailant was saying, to qualify as HATE there needs to be comprehension.

I see so when a Muslim screams Allah Akbar before denotating that doesn't count as terrorism since I don't speak Arabic, thank you for enlightening me, I guess when Nazis screamed in German at say Greek Jews to run into the gas chambers that doesn't count either since they didn't speak the same language so I if I attack an illegal latino and don't say anything in Spanish it would not be a hate crime?

17

 Oct 18, 2018 at 04:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
getitright Says:

there has been some info to the effect ...that the victim didn't understand what the assailant was saying, to qualify as HATE there needs to be comprehension.

That's stupid. He understood enough and reported it. The DA rejected the truth, and I suspect he was under orders from the mayor to ignore it. That's corruption that should have no place in government.

18

 Oct 18, 2018 at 07:45 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

That's stupid. He understood enough and reported it. The DA rejected the truth, and I suspect he was under orders from the mayor to ignore it. That's corruption that should have no place in government.

Deblasio made a deal with agudah for them to be quiet, they attacked Trump for deporting illegals on his orders and now when a victim from their constituency is attacked they are quiet on his order$$$, same gor fjcc and jcrc all $$$ellout$$$

19

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