In the wake of the South Carolina Black church massacre that left nine people dead, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday an increase of police presence at many of the city’s Black churches.
“There are so many people here who hail from South Carolina, and it’s a very, very painful moment for all of us,” de Blasio said. “I want everyone to know there’s no place in New York City for this kind of hatred, and that we, through the NYPD, have increased our resources directed at protecting African-American churches in this city as a precaution.”
The mayor also expressed his condolences to the victims and their families in the shooting that is being investigated as a hate crime.
“This was an absolutely troubling and heart wrenching moment,” he said. “The fact is that nine innocent lives are lost. Our hearts go out to the people of Charleston. Our hearts go out to the members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church.”
New York City is home to over 50 A.M.E. churches including Greater Allen A. M. E. Cathedral in Queens which is one of the largest.