Nearly half of those arrested in hate crime attacks had mental health issues: NYPD

People with mental illness, he said, accounted for only 4% of the acts of violence committed nationwide. MentalHealth.gov, a site run by the US Department of Health and Human Services, puts the figure at 3%-5%). Rosenthal pointed to a National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions study that found “just under three percent of people with serious mental illness had acted violently in the past year, compared to just under one percent of the general population. population.”

“I think too often random episodes of violence, tragic violence, are used to scapegoat people with mental illness,” he said.

During the hearing, Arias acknowledged the NYPD’s shortcomings in dealing with people with mental illness.

“I think we need to improve our partnership with mental health professionals to ensure that there is holistic treatment for people who may have mental health issues,” Arias said.

Under-reported cases?

Won, who represents Long Island City, Sunnyside, Astoria and Woodside, attended Tuesday’s hearing and said “under-reporting” affects hate crime data collection for Asian Americans, arguing that “culturally, it is more difficult for Asian Americans, especially immigrants to make these reports.

She also expressed concern about reports that senior Hate Crimes Task Force officials downplayed incidents of anti-Asian harassment brought to the attention of police. Those officials have since been reassigned, but Won questioned why Asian New Yorkers have been “fired, mocked, and mocked” when they attempt to report incidents to the NYPD.

In response, Arias said he was unaware of any details regarding those episodes under his predecessors.

“I would like to reassure you of the seriousness with which we are investigating these crimes,” he said. “We take this very seriously.”

Rosenthal said the New York State and city government’s focus on “criminalizing and locking up” people with mental illness is “reprehensible.”

“We are left behind by the system,” he said. “Too many of us are in the criminal justice system, irresponsibly. And it is our responsibility not to sweep people up, lock them up or label them as a threat.”

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