Nov. 25, 2019 By Allie Griffin
State Sen. Michael Gianaris is calling on the NYPD to investigate bigoted, anti-Muslim graffiti found on an Astoria bus shelter over the weekend as a hate crime.
Gianaris was alerted of the graffiti by a constituent who discovered the ugly words on the side of a bus shelter on Ditmars Boulevard near Steinway Street. It reads “If you see someone with a turban, chop it off!”
The senator has since penned a letter to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill asking for a hate crime investigation, he announced today.
“Hate has no home in New York and we cannot tolerate these incidents in our communities. This should be investigated promptly as a hate crime,” Gianaris said. “Western Queens is among the most diverse places to live on the planet and this does not reflect who we are or what we aspire to be.”
Gianaris’ office has alerted the DOT of the graffiti. DOT is in charge of removing it.
A spokesperson for the NYPD said the graffiti has been removed and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
“We will never tolerate hate in our city in any form,” the spokesperson said. “There is a complaint report on file in the 114th Precinct for criminal mischief. This incident has been deemed a hate crime and the Hate Crime Task Force is investigating. The graffiti has since been removed.”