Watch CBS News

Gov. Kathy Hochul outlines steps New York will take to combat threats of violence and radicalization

NYPD ramping up security for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
NYPD ramping up security for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 03:11

NEW YORK -- With officials concerned about New York facing looming threats of violence, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday morning announced new steps she'll be taking to beef up security and deal with online threats and radicalization.

The governor outlined several initiatives to stop hate speech online from becoming hate crimes in the state.

Stopping online hate speech

Included in the plan is $3 million to ensure every college campus has a threat assessment and management team on site to identify threats, targeted ads offering help for parents to identify if their child is involved in hate speech online, and media literacy tools for all public school students to make them smarter about identifying misinformation online.

The announcement came after CBS News obtained a new threat assessment which points to "an increasing terror threat to New York state."

The intelligence center warns that the spread of antisemitic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric on social media is fueling an increase in hate crimes targeting Jews, Muslims and Arabs.

The report says, "The expansion of Israeli operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and increase in civilian casualties raises the likelihood that violent extremist threat actors will seek to conduct attacks against targets in the West, with New York state being a focus. Terrorist messaging has placed focus on attacking 'soft targets' such as protests, group gatherings, and other public events."

Hochul spoke Tuesday about how the online threat assessment teams will work.

"They're not looking at your Instagram sunset posts or your tweets about your favorite football team, and they're not here to penalize anyone for their political views. They have a simple goal, to find out what's driving hateful behavior and intervene early before harm is done," the governor said.

Watch Jessica Moore's report

Gov. Hochul outlines steps N.Y. will take to combat threats of violence, radicalization 02:47

She also said she reached out to social media companies to criticize them for not better monitoring hate online.

"They say they're monitoring for hate speech and I'd say there are instances where you're not successful. So, ramp up the number of people who are in charge of monitoring, because if my state police can find it, if college students can find it, the people you hire to find it should be able to do so and take it down immediately," Hochul said.

The governor said hate crimes against Jews, Muslims and Arabs have increased by more than 400% since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

Stepped-up security at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

In light of the report, the Hochul said the NYPD and state police have stepped up security around Thursday's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"Are we living in a heightened threat environment? Absolutely. Are we seeing an increase in calls for violence? Absolutely. Those calls are coming from outside the country and inside, but there are no credible threats to the parade or to New York at this time," said Jackie Bay, commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security's New York State Division. "Everyone should feel absolutely safe going out there and enjoying the holiday."

The governor pointed to the success of this month's marathon as proof that her team is remaining vigilant about securing all large scale events happening in the city.

She is reminding all New Yorkers to be vigilant as well.

The NYPD says there are no credible threats to any New York event or to the city in general, but police are seeing increased calls to violence online, and the head of NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism told CBS New York's Ali Bauman her office is monitoring that activity online and overseas to inform how their resources will be deployed for large events like the parade.

"Our heavy weapons teams, our blocker trucks, officers deployed throughout the route," Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Weiner said.

The department is stepping up security for this year's parade in part due to an assessment from the New York State Intelligence Center, obtained by CBS News, which points to an "increasing terrorist threat to New York State" since the war in Gaza began.

"What are you seeing and how are you monitoring all of it?" Bauman asked.

"Extremist and terrorist organizations across the spectrum, making statements, generalized calls to action, online rhetoric, real vitriolic rhetoric, some bias incidents, hate crimes," Weiner said.

The state assessment warns terrorist messaging has placed focus on attacking "soft targets" such as protests and group gatherings.

This, of course, comes days after Mayor Eric Adams cut 5% of the NYPD's budget and Tuesday said the department could face another round of cuts in January.

"You have the parade you're preparing for, you have heightened tensions and online rhetoric, you have protests popping up every other day throughout the city and on top of that are budget cuts the NYPD is dealing with. Is the department stretched too thin right now?" Bauman asked.

"We will not compromise on public safety, absolutely not. Not in this environment, not when there's so much going on, so we want to reassure everyone we're there to protect your safety day in day out and we'll continue to do so," Weiner said.

Weiner also told said the NYPD has an officer deployed in Tel Aviv giving her real time updates on the security situation there.

She says this ramped-up police security will last as long as needed based on the threat assessment overseas.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.