CUNY student journalists tracking hate incidents

Since Election Day, the New York Police Department's Hate Crimes Task Force has seen an increase in the number of reported hate crimes, including one against one of their own officers of Muslim faith.

CUNY Professor Jere Hester, the news director at the Graduate School of Journalism, says one way to keep attention on hate crimes is the newly founded Hate Index. He and other professors, students, and volunteers use the website to track reports of hate crimes around the country. It is a record of alleged crimes like anti-Semitic graffiti recently discovered on the campus on Nassau Community College and reports of verbal insults and other incidents of intolerance.

The increase in reports of hate crimes has caught the attention of U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. She recently spoke about it during a visit to Harvey Milk High School in Manhattan.

The CUNY professors involved in working on the Hate Index also can tell who is looking at the website. They say it has hits from people all over the country. It has also caught the interest of members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Justice Department.