According to him, people with mental illness were responsible for only 4% of the violent acts committed nationally. MentalHealth.gov, a site operated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, estimates the figure at 3-5%). Rosenthal pointed to a survey by the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions that found that “just under three percent of people with severe mental illness had acted violently in the past year, compared to just under one percent of the general population.” .”
“I think all too often random episodes of violence, tragic violence, are used to scapegoat people with mental illness,” he said.
During the hearing, Arias acknowledged the NYPD’s shortcomings in dealing with people with mental illness.
“I think we need to improve our collaboration with mental health professionals to ensure that there is holistic treatment for people who may have mental health problems,” Arias said.
Won, who represents Long Island City, Sunnyside, Astoria and Woodside, attended Tuesday’s hearing and said “underreporting” affected the collection of hate crime data for Asian Americans, arguing that “culturally it’s more difficult for Asian Americans.” , especially immigrants to make these reports.”
She also expressed concern over reports that senior Hate Crime Task Force officials had downplayed incidents of anti-Asian harassment brought to the attention of police. Those officials have since been reassigned, but Won asked why Asian New Yorkers had been “fired, mocked and laughed at” when they tried to take incidents to the NYPD.
In response, Arias said he was not aware of the details about those episodes among his predecessors.
“I want to reassure you of the seriousness with which we are investigating these crimes,” he said. “We take it very seriously.”
Rosenthal said the New York state and city government’s emphasis on “criminalization and incarceration” for people with mental illness was “reprehensible.”
“We have failed the system,” he said. “Too many of us are in the criminal justice system, irresponsibly. And it is our responsibility not to wipe people out and incarcerate or label them as a threat.”