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New York State Legislature Passes Hate Crime Legislation Honoring Monsey Stabbing Victim

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April 6, 2020
MONSEY, NY – DECEMBER 29: People hold signs of support near the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg on December 29, 2019 in Monsey, New York. Five people were injured in a knife attack during a Hanukkah party and a suspect, identified as Grafton E. Thomas, was later arrested in Harlem. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

The New York state legislature passed a hate crimes act that considers murders committed due to the victims’ race or religion as “acts of domestic terrorism.”

The legislation, passed Thursday as part of the state budget, was renamed the Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act, to honor the victim of a stabbing attack in December at the home of a Monsey rabbi.

Neumann had remained in a coma from the time of the Dec. 28 attack to his death on March 29. The assailant’s knife penetrated Neumann’s skull. His right arm also was shattered. Four others were injured in the attack, which took place on Hanukkah.

The state budget also included funding for the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force, established in the 2018 to address the increase in bias-motivated threats, harassment and violence in New York state, AMNY reported. The budget includes $2 million to support the task force’s work, and to increase the monitoring of digital media for violence, intolerance, drug dealing and terrorism.

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