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May 19, 2019

Cuomo orders state police to assist NYPD with probe into anti-Semitic graffiti at Columbia prof’s office

November 30, 2018
Swastikas and the derogatory term ?Yid? were found on the walls of the office of Elizabeth Midlarsky, a professsor at Teachers College on November 28, 2018. (Rya Inman/Columbia Daily Spectator)

Governor Cuomo has ordered the state police to help the NYPD find the anti-Semitic vandal who scrawled swastikas on a Holocaust scholar’s office door at Columbia Teacher’s College.

Cuomo said Thursday that he’s directing the state police Hate Crimes Unit to aid the investigation, run by the NYPD‘s Hate Crimes Task Force, into the graffiti found on Prof. Elizabeth Midlarsky’s walls Wednesday afternoon.

“In the wake of this incident, I stand together with Columbia University and the entire Jewish community of New York,” Cuomo said in a written statement Thursday night. “I am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Unit to assist in the investigation.”

His office didn’t immediately explain what that assistance entailed, or whether the NYPD asked for help.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Thursday night.

Cuomo ordered the state police to create a hate crimes unit days after the 2016 presidential election to counter an “explosion” of bias crimes after Donald Trump’s election.

The governor also assigned state troopers to Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in 2017 — a move that spiked the state police budget to spike by millions of dollars. The airports are already patrolled by the Port Authority Police Department.

Cuomo’s critics accuse him of ordering the increased state trooper presence to one-up Mayor de Blasio.

The Teachers College graffiti comes after a wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the city. Police are looking into whether anti-Jewish bias motivated an assault on a 9-year-old Hasidic boy, who was punched in the face in Williamsburg Sunday evening.

As of Nov. 7, hate crimes across the city increased to 309 this year compared to 297 in the same time frame last year, with a sharper rise in anti-Semitic incidents — 159 compared to 130, according to NYPD statistics.

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