Ex-NYPD hate crimes chief sues Mayor Adams for ‘destroying’ her reputation over alleged mishandling

Ex-NYPD hate crimes chief sues Mayor Adams for ‘destroying’ her reputation over alleged mishandling
via NBC New York, NYC Mayor’s Office
Carl Samson
February 15, 2023
The former head of the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force filed a suit against Mayor Eric Adams and the city on Tuesday, accusing them of defaming her over an allegation that she mishandled an anti-Asian incident in 2021.
Jessica Corey, a 30-year department veteran, was confirmed as being reassigned from her post on Feb. 16, 2022. Earlier that week, ABC7 News’ CeFaan Kim spoke to Adams to present the allegation, to which the mayor replied, “I don’t want a leader in that area that starts off with saying why something is not a possible hate crime.”
The incident in question involved Korean American commuter Esther Lee, who was spat on and called a “carrier” while riding the subway in October 2021. She caught the moment on video and reported it to police.
However, the responding officer allegedly refused to include the word “carrier” in her report. He also allegedly accused Lee of “taking a situation and blowing it out of proportion.”
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Lee said she spoke to Corey later on the phone, but the then-Hate Crimes head allegedly shrugged off her claims as well.
“You know you really should not have filmed him, you really should not have taken your phone and started taking footage of him, because you probably triggered him,” Lee recalled Corey telling her.
Corey maintains that her handling of Lee’s case had been “entirely appropriate and sensitive,” according to the New York Post, which first reported her suit. 
That handling reportedly included consultations with the NYPD’s Legal Bureau and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which ultimately decided against prosecuting the case as a hate crime.
In his interview with Kim, Adams said it was the first time someone had come to him with concerns.

It would be troubling to me to see if someone is not clear on the direction I want my hate crime unit to perform. I don’t know what the criterias were under other administrations, but we have a new day, and we’re going to have a new way.

Corey’s suit, which was filed at the Manhattan Supreme Court, claims that she was “subjected to utterly baseless statements” and that “her personal and professional reputation were destroyed.” 
It also says she was “severely stigmatized” and that she had lost “future career prospects.”
The former Hate Crimes head is seeking unspecified damages. In her suit, she also accuses City Council Member Julie Won of defaming her for allegedly saying during a virtual meeting that she had dismissed “Asian hate crimes when they were reported.”

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