New York ranks third in the US for hate gangs
A new report ranks New York in third place in the USA for the number of hate gangs, including neo-Nazi organizations and the Klu Klux Klan, found in the state.
The study by the non-profit legal advocacy group, Southern Poverty Law Center, recorded 44 hate organisations throughout New York. Included were such groups as the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, American Defense League, an anti-Muslim assembly and the Aryan Strikeforce, a neo-Nazi party.
The Daily News reports that the state’s high ranking is due in part to the 19 racist skinhead, white nationalist and neo-Nazi organisations who reside there. The states of California and Florida headed the list with New Jersey joint third with New York.
A senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mark Potok, said many skinheads were not part of larger groups, which made it difficult to estimate the true number in each state. He said he didn’t see New York as a ‘hotbed’ for such groups. While many of the groups are based upstate, the report found some gangs had a presence across the five boroughs. One of these was Golden Dawn, a secretive Greek nationalistic neo-Nazi group based in Queens.
Overall, the number of hate groups in the country declined from 939 two years ago to 784, a fall of 17% over the past year, the centre said.