December 8, 2008, City Hall – Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, together with Council members Diana Reyna, Rosie Mendez, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Oliver Koppell, David Yassky, Miguel Martinez, Gale Brewer, Dan Garodnick, David Weprin, and Letitia James, denounced a violent hate crime against two Ecuadorian men in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood on early Sunday morning.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, NYC Labor Council for Latin American Advancement President Sonia Ivany, the International Ecuadoran Alliance, President of Sharon Staple of the NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Ecuadorian Civic Committee President Carlos Zamora, Jeffery Davis of the James E. Davis Foundation, and New York State Human Rights Commissioner Galen Kirkland joined the City Council members in their condemnation of the vicious attacks. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez also lent their voices of support.
Members of New York’s religious community were also in attendance including Jewish Community Relations Council Outreach Director Bob Kaplan, Center of Hope International Church Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Rev. Greg Johnson, Sarah Sayeed of the Interfaith Center of NY, Board of Rabbis Executive Vice President Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, and Rev. William Grant of the Tribeca Spiritual Center.
“We all must open our eyes to the hate that exists around us and work together to fight against those that demonize others and allow stereotypes to lead them to acts of unconscionable violence,” said Speaker Quinn. “We are all partners against hate. When we come together, to stand up, every time we witness an act motivated by hate, we will send the message that we will not stand for the destruction that comes along with it.”
“This is a reprehensible crime that has occurred in my district and for such for such an atrocity to occur in this day in age is beyond my comprehension,” said Council Member Reyna. “An act like this destroys a society and we as a society must stand up and report such a deplorable crime against a community of people. I want to thank Speaker Quinn for her leadership and my colleagues, community leaders and clergy for their support on this issue and I urge anyone that may have any information to please contact the NYPD.”
“I am shocked and appalled by this senseless and brutal act,” said Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus Co-Chair Robert Jackson. “This crime against these two men is crazy and unacceptable and will be not tolerated. We will not let the cowardly acts of a few to cripple the diversity of this great city and will not let hate go unchecked. It is that kind of hate that has left an individual fighting for his life. Silence is what contributes to injustice and we are putting a call out today to all communities to bring these individuals to justice.”
“Bushwick must come together to stand against the violent act committed on our streets this morning,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “Hate crimes bring fear where freedom and happiness should reside. Our neighbors of all backgrounds must know that we stand by them and will not allow any instance of hate to go unnoticed. The diversity of our business owners, families and residents is what makes this neighborhood so strong. We can not allow this cowardly act to bring fear to our streets. I call on anyone who has information about this crime to come forward immediately,”
The Office of the Speaker and the City Council urges anyone who might have any information about this crime to come forward immediately by contacting to the New York Police Department’s Crimestopper Unit at 1-800-577-TIPS or by texting “Crimes” (274637). Anyone with a tip may also go to www.nypdcrimestoppers.com with any information.