2008-01-31 / Other News

Maisel's Hate Crimes Crackdown Bill Passes Albany Assembly

Assemblyman Alan Maisel (D-59th AD) announced this week that the state Assembly passed a bill he sponsored, banning the placement or display of nooses or images of nooses on any building or other real property without the express permission of the owner.

"Hanging a noose on someone's property against their wishes or without their knowledge is a hostile act, rife with racism, intolerance, hate and the threat of violence," Maisel said. "With this legislation, the Assembly takes a stand and makes it clear that this kind of despicable behavior will not be tolerated."

The bill stipulates that placing a noose or any drawn, painted or otherwise depicted image of a noose on someone's property without their permission would be illegal and classified as aggravated harassment in the first degree. A similar bill is under consideration in the Senate.

Passage of the bill stems from recent incidents in New York, including one where a noose was found in the locker room at the Hempstead police station in Long Island and one in New York City, where a noose was found hanging on the door of a professor's office at Columbia University's Teachers College. The professor, who is African-American, teaches psychology and education and specializes in race and multiculturalism.

The two-term assemblyman said, "I'm hopeful this bill will be signed into law, and optimistic that it will discourage New Yorkers from committing this cowardly act of hate mongering."

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