Cuomo directs increased police presence at mosques, houses of worship

Cuomo directs increased police presence at mosques, houses of worship

March 15, 2019 10:32 AM

NEW YORK (AP) - New York has increased security at mosques and other houses of worship as a precaution.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that state police have stepped up their patrols statewide.

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He calls the shootings at mosques in New Zealand a "disgusting act of bigoted violence."

The prime minister of New Zealand calls it "one of New Zealand's darkest days."

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City also is providing extra security for Muslim community centers and mosques.

De Blasio says he wants the city's Muslims to know that New Yorkers "truly embrace" them and "have their backs."

The New York Police Department says it's committed to the safety of all houses of worship and the freedom to practice religion "without any fear."

Read below for Cuomo's full statement released Friday:

"My heart breaks for the victims of the horrific attack in New Zealand. And we grieve with the rest of the world. In the wake of this disgusting act of bigoted violence, which appears to be rooted in Islamophobia, New York stands with the Muslim community as we always have and always will. 

As a precaution, I have directed state police to increase patrols around mosques and houses of worship across the state. At a time of great division, we will stand up to hate in all its forms and do everything in our power to protect the safety and wellbeing of all New Yorkers. 

On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand, to the families who have lost loved ones, and to all those grieving around the world."


(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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