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Letters-to-the-Editor & Commentary

Resources If You Are A Victim Of Hate Crime Or Discrimination

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November 6, 2023

Many Muslim residents and Jewish residents are nervous because of the war in the Middle East, and worry the fear and animosity might carry over here. No matter what one’s views are regarding the Israeli-Palestinian war, we can’t discriminate against local residents who have nothing to do with policies in the Middle East. We don’t want anyone to feel afraid or unsafe and no one should be discriminated against. We wanted to take this opportunity to provide resources should you feel you’ve been the victim of discrimination or a hate crime.

DISCRIMINATION is when an individual or a group of people is treated less favorably than others based on one of the 17 protected categories, whether real or perceived.

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·         Age

·         Ancestry

·         Alienage or Citizenship Status

·         Color

·         Disability

·         Ethnicity

·         Familial Status

·         Gender

·         Gender Identity

·         Gender Expression

·         Marital Status

·         Military Status

·         National Origin

·         Race

·         Religion

·         Sexual Orientation

·         Status as victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse or stalking

HATE INCIDENT is any incident perceived by the victim, or any witnesses, as being motivated by prejudice or hate towards any aspect of a person’s identity. You do not have to be a member of the group the hostility is aimed at.

Hate or bias incidents are motivated by one of the protected characteristics mentioned above. The incidents take the form of non-criminal offenses like social media bullying or verbal comments. Hate incidents themselves don’t break the law.


HATE CRIMES are criminal offenses. This is because the incidents themselves are prosecutable offenses like physical assault, burglary, threats on social media, vandalism on your property, hate mail or fraud. What makes it a hate crime is the perception of the victim or witnesses of it being motivated by prejudice or hate based on one of the protected statuses above.

Examples of Bias Incidents

Bias incidents can be verbal, physical, or visual. This language and behavior often contributes to or creates an unsafe or unwelcoming environment. Some examples include:

·         Name calling; using a racial, ethnic, or other slur to identify someone; or using degrading language.

·         Creating racist or derogatory images/drawings.

·         Imitating someone with a disability, or imitating someone’s cultural norm or practice.

Examples of Hate and Bias Crimes

Bias crimes can also be verbal, physical, or visual.  Some examples include:

·         Assaulting, injuring, or even touching someone in an offensive manner because of their perceived protected class.

·         Creating racist or derogatory graffiti on someone else’s property based on their perceived protected class.

·         Threatening to physically harm a person, their family, or their property based on their perceived protected class.



If you have experienced or witnessed discrimination or a hate-related incident in Westchester County, you can call the Human Rights Commission of Westchester County at (914) 995-9500, contact us by email HumanRights@WestchesterGov.com at report an incident anonymously on the Report Incidents of Hate, Bias or Discrimination form. The Human Rights Commission does not share immigration status information with other agencies. The Human Rights Commission provides language assistance services.


Anyone who may be a victim or witness to a hate crime can also report it to their local police department. The non-emergency line for Greenburgh is 914-989-1700. If the event is more urgent or you feel there is immediate danger, call 911 for emergency assistance. The public can also file a complaint or send in tips to the County District Attorney’s Office at 914-955-TIPS (8477). There is a Greenburgh branch of the DA’s office at 914-995-4075, 188 Tarrytown Road, White Plains.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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