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Security Brief: NORTHCOM Week of 5/3/2021

Week of 05/03/21 | Issue 10


Karen Giraldo, Neoclis Soteriou, NORTHCOM


Anti-Hate Crime Propaganda[1]


Date: Monday, May 3, 2021

Location: Bronx, New York

Parties involved: Jordan Burnette (suspect); NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force; the Riverdale Jewish Center, Young Israel of Riverdale, Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale, and Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel (victims)


The event: Jordan Burnette was arrested by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for hurling rocks through the doors and windows, and destroying the prayer books of several synagogues located in the Bronx, New York. Burnette had also stolen a bicycle from one of the synagogue's sheds, which he was riding when stopped by police and the synagogue’s caretaker was able to match. Police believe that Burnette is responsible for at least acts of vandalism directed against synagogues in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx during April.

The implications:

  • There is a high likelihood for an increase in similar attacks in New York City, such as copycat attacks, following Burnette’s arrest. Because of this, there are officers from the NYPD counterterrorism bureau guarding synagogues and other religious institutions throughout the Bronx area, they will likely continue guarding these institutions for the foreseeable future.

  • This incident also coincides with a recent nationwide increase in hate crimes, as well as an increase in hate crimes specifically targeting the Jewish community. This is likely to contribute to the increasing social and political tension that has resulted from, as subsequently fueled this increase in hate crimes against such minority groups.

  • Jordan Brunette was approached by law enforcement who only intended to write him a ticket, which demonstrates a lack of consideration and seriousness on Anti-Semitic behavior and activities. Only when he failed to cooperate did he then get arrested. New York City is a melting pot of different races and cultures, and as accepting as some individuals are to differences, others are making it a mission to negatively impact the lives of innocent minorities. It is likely that hate crimes, in general, will increase, whether it is towards the Jewish or Asian community due to the lack of accountability taken towards groups of perpetrators.


Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Location: San Francisco, California

Parties involved: Patrick Thompson (suspect); the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD); and two unidentified Asian-American women, age 84 and 63 (victims)

The event: Patrick Thompson, 54-year-old, was arrested by the SFPD around 1900 local time, roughly two hours after having stabbed the two older women while they were waiting for a bus in downtown San Francisco. Investigators have not yet ruled the attack a hate crime but announced that they are looking into whether the suspect was motivated by racial bias. The women have been transported to the hospital and are receiving treatment for multiple stab wounds, although neither are reported to be in critical condition.

The implications:

  • This incident coincides with a recent nationwide increase in hate crimes, as well as an increase in hate crimes specifically targeting the Asian-American community. This is likely to contribute to the increasing social and political tension that has resulted from, as subsequently fueled this increase in hate crimes against such minority groups.

  • Just as recently as April 22, the US Senate passed an Anti-Asian American hate crime bill to address and tackle the ongoing crimes against the Asian population. Despite the passing of this new bill, there continues to be an increase in these types of crimes while not considering those being unreported. There will likely be a lack of institutionalization when it comes to presenting this new bill across all states as priorities differ from state to state and not everyone is considerate of the inalienable human rights applicable to all individuals. It is also not necessarily clear as to what other intentions this bill will have other than “addressing” Asian hate crimes. As a result, this bill can be open to a wide variety of interpretations by legislators around the country, causing slow and inhibited responses as a whole towards mitigating attacks towards the Asian community. Although Senators across the country consider this bill to be a step towards progression, there are still a lot of open gaps that are not necessarily taken into consideration when facing this ongoing issue.

[1]Say No to Hate Crime!” by Mike Gifford licensed by Creative Commons

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