The New York Police Department announced its created a task force specifically to deal with a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been 21 reported anti-Asian hate crimes leading to 17 arrests since March around the time the pandemic intensified in the United States, which Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told reporters is higher than normal Tuesday. 

"This increase was cultivated due to the anti-Asian rhetoric about the virus that was publicized and individuals began to attack Asian New Yorkers either verbal attack or physical assault," Harrison said. "We saw a spike in every borough throughout the city."

Harrison said although the city's Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the crimes, the specialized team was necessary because victims were sometimes reluctant to follow up with investigators due to language barriers, cultural differences and fear of the police.

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