NEW YORK CITY -- While we're seeing Pride flags and colors on full display across New York City for Pride Month, the community is also experiencing an increase in hate.
There has been an increase in hate crimes in New York City from anti-Asian to anti-Semitic attacks. As we enter the middle of Pride Month, there has also been a big jump in crimes reported against the LGBTQ+ community. They're up in 2021 by 46%.
In March, a disturbing attack on the subway was captured on video. Police say a man spit on and punched a 22-year-old while yelling anti-gay remarks. Three months later, no arrests have been made and the case is still under investigation.
"It kind of like boils my skin, because I want to be able to be out there and be able to find this person," said Sgt. Ana Arboleda, the LGBTQIA+ Liaison with the NYPD. "The other part of me does feel sad, because I want to go and hug this person and say 'You know what, I'm here'."
Arboleda is an openly gay cop and she wants others to feel they can be open about who they are without getting harmed while walking the streets of New York.
"I have mixed feelings about it," Sgt. Arboleda said. "Look it's sad, it's sad to see that there's so much hate in the world because, at the same time, we have somebody that has been a target simply for who they are."
7 On Your Side Investigates tracked the numbers and found that 97 hate crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community had been reported last year.
That's compared to 66 in 2019, the year before the pandemic. That's a 46% increase. So far, 32 hate crimes have been reported this year. That's also up compared to years past.
Here is where anti-LGBTQIA+ hate crimes are being reported:
"We're more visible and because we're also more visible, we're targeted as well," Sgt. Arboleda said. "It's happening everywhere in the city where normally it wasn't like that before."
While the city's experiencing more hate crimes, there have also been more people who feel comfortable reporting it to the police. Arboleda says that's a big difference and a bright spot compared to just a few years ago.
"I see progresses because that means that the people are out there making more reports and to me, that's progress between the NYPD and the community," she said.
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