Assemblyman Colton (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) is outraged by the despicable hate crime that took place at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
“I condemn the hate crime attack on St. Athanasius church at which a crucifix was pulled down and destroyed and an American Flag displayed outside on the church property was burned. Monsignor David Cassato who has been serving at St. Athanasius for twenty years never could’ve imagined that a heinous act like this would happen at his parish. This was the saddest and most devastating day for the St. Athanasius parishioners. I had joined Monsignor Cassato in prayer Friday, May 14, at 7:30 pm in response to the hate crime where an outpouring of people attended the outdoor service to show and witness their faith against such evil. We must never be silent. We must pray and act against the face of evil, knowing with confidence that ultimately good will triumph over evil as we in one voice are demanding justice and not revenge,” Colton stated.
“Hate crimes are on the rise citywide and it’s unacceptable.Hate crimes against any groups including Catholics, Chinese, Jews, Muslims, or any other groups are rapidly increasing. Therefore, I have introduced a bill to include hate crimes in the list of crimes where a Judge can hold a defendant on bail. Individuals that are responsible must be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We need to make sure that our fellow New Yorkers are protected against any despicable crimes. I will continue to work with community leaders and the NYPD to stop the spread of all hate crimes,” Colton added.