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Hate crimes, often referred to as bias crimes, are those in which either the crime is committed or the victim is chosen because of a perpetrator’s belief or perception regarding a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation. In addition to the devastating impacts of hate crimes on the victims, these actions create anxiety and fear throughout our communities, especially among other members of targeted groups.

Westchester District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah believes in the thorough investigation and unwavering prosecution of these despicable acts of violence. If you believe you have been a victim of or a witness to a hate crime, call 911 to report the crime. If you have any questions, need additional information or have witnessed a hate crime, contact the District Attorney’s Office Bias & Hate Crimes hotline at (914) 995-TIPS (914-995-8477).

Bias incidents such as hateful language or messages may be lawful in accordance with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, but they also cause fear and intimidation among members of the targeted groups.

The District Attorney’s Office works to combat hate crimes and bias incidents in Westchester by:

  • Helping local police departments identify hate crime and bias incident trends.
  • Providing support to local police departments for hate crime and bias incident investigations.
  • Acting as a clearinghouse for information on hate crimes and bias incidents and connecting departments who are experiencing similar crimes and incidents.
  • Working with local leaders to address underlying hate and bias issues within communities.