In its November 7 article “NY Proposes stiffer hate crime laws,” AsAmNews reporter Ti-Hua Chang examined the challenges surrounding the prosecution of hate crimes in New York State and underscored current efforts to reform the legal framework to enable better reporting and prosecution.
Importantly, the article highlighted the loopholes that currently exist in the state’s legal framework for hate crimes. While on the rise, hate crimes are often underreported and under-prosecuted due to the lack of a comprehensive system to address them effectively. The newly-proposed Hate Crimes Modernization Act would close loopholes by increasing the number of categories legally considered hate crimes from 66 to 97. Some of the added possible hate crimes include forcible sexual touching, false reporting, and criminal possession of a weapon.
AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen’s take on the bill is quoted in the article:
Yang Chen, a lawyer and Executive Director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, echoed Mr. Lee’s assessment of the bill being, “A good start. D.A. Bragg, he’s paying attention. We actually talked to him about this issue when he was running for office and he’s following up… He’s done something. That’s good.”
The article also highlights concerns that AABANY had shared with District Attorney Bragg. According to the article, out of 200 hate crimes reported in the news during the pandemic in New York City, only 3% had resulted in indictments.
On November 1st, 2023, AABANY held its Queens Pro Bono Legal Clinic at the AAFE (Asian Americans for Equality) One Flushing Community Center. The clinic met with 15 clients, coming in with questions about criminal, housing, immigration, and family law. Volunteer attorneys and interpreters patiently addressed client concerns, answering questions and connecting them to lawyers through AABANY’s Legal Referral and Information Service (LRIS). We are extremely grateful to have volunteers willing to start early at 6pm and stay beyond 8:30pm to finish speaking with the clients.
Thank you to our volunteers for supporting the clinic. Your time and dedication are essential for delivering crucial assistance to individuals seeking legal guidance. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to:
Interpreters and Coordinators:
Yiming (Roselyn) Chen
Nuala Naranjo (AAFE)
Elton Ye (AAFE)
Maria Bergeron (AAFE)
Sally Lin (AAFE)
Here is a list of upcoming Pro Bono Clinics:
Manhattan, November 15, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, at AAFE Community Center, 111 Norfolk Street. Sign up by 12pm, November 10 to volunteer.
Brooklyn, December 2, from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, at Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc., 4101 8th Avenue. Sign up by 12pm, November 27 to volunteer.
Manhattan, December 20, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, at AAFE Community Center, 111 Norfolk Street. Sign up by 12pm, December 15 to volunteer.
Queens, January 10, 2024 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, One Flushing Community Center, 133-29 41st Ave. Sign up by 12pm, January 5 to volunteer.
Click here for more information about our Pro Bono Clinics and the PBCS Committee. Or sign up for the next BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) Sidebar Meeting on November 16 to learn more about the Clinic and the Committee. Go here for more details and to register.