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NYC suspends housing inspector after racist trope mailed to Asian man

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City officials suspended a housing inspector Friday for allegedly using a racist trope to identify an Asian New Yorker in a government database — an insult the Upper East Side man discovered when he received a letter in the mail with the slur in the address label.

The notice of inspection from the Department of Housing and Preservation was addressed to ‘Chin Chong,’ a play on a deeply offensive anti-Asian stereotype, instead of the apartment’s residents — 22-year-old Duc Pham and his roommates.

“It might have been one person who’s racist and the rest of the machine just didn’t catch the mistake,” Pham told The Post, “but it’s obviously very disappointing that the city — where we look to protect us, to make sure these things don’t happen — actually creates these problems.”

Pham said the HPD inspector visited his apartment after other tenants in the five-story walkup he calls home complained to the city about problems with the building’s heat and hot water.

“We let him in, we didn’t have a lot of conversation, we didn’t talk much, he was very polite,” he recalled. “It was super quick, less than 30 minutes.”

So Pham, an immigrant from Vietnam, was stunned when he got the inspection notice in the mail on Wednesday with the racial insult in the line of the mailing label for his name.

The programmer for Facebook posted a picture of the envelope on Facebook on Wednesday — and by Friday, the letter had been shared widely across the Internet and roundly condemned by city leaders.

“My god. This employee has been immediately suspended without pay as a full investigation has been launched. @NYCHousing has contacted the person who received this letter to apologize as well,” wrote City Hall press secretary Bill Neidhardt on Twitter. “New York City stands united to #StopAsianHate and this has no place in our city gov.”

The agency confirmed the inspector suspended without pay for allegedly entering the insult into the city’s massive inspections database was the same who visited Pham’s apartment on March 17, but declined to identify him.

“[W]e’re conducting a full investigation to determine further disciplinary action,” said an agency spokesman in a statement. “We’ve reached out to the individual affected to express our profound apologies.”

The letter comes amid a spate of violence in New York City — and across the country — aimed at Asian Americans.

The NYPD has tallied 26 crimes aimed at the community so far this year officials said Thursday as they launched a new plainclothes effort to try to put a cap on the violence.





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Suspect arrested in fatal Brooklyn stabbing

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Police have apprehended a suspect in the fatal December stabbing of a Brooklyn man, cops said on Saturday.

The suspect, John Headley, 32, also of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder and weapons possession for the Dec. 12 knifing of Ken Baird, 37, police said.

Baird was stabbed multiple times in the chest following a dispute on Crown Street near Utica Avenue in Crown Heights at about 6:40 p.m., police said.

EMS transported Baird to King County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

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Man dies after jumping from Staten Island Ferry

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A 53-year-old man died Saturday after jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the chilly waters of New York Harbor, police said.

NYPD Harbor launch officers pulled the man out of the water after responding to reports of a jumper near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan at around 2 p.m.

“He jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock,” an NYPD spokesman told The Post. He jumped off the Ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi, police said.

The unidentified victim was removed to Pier 11 and transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 3:10 p.m.

A newsstand worker said there were “about 50 or so emergency people” at Pier 11 following a valiant effort — which included CPR — to save the man’s life.

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An NYPD spokesman says the 53-year-old man “jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock.”

Michael Dalton

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The 53-year-old man was transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Michael Dalton

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Kemp Lashes M.L.B. as Republicans Defend Georgia’s Voting Law

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Mr. Kemp, who is gearing up to run for re-election in 2022, has striven to re-enter the good graces of Republican voters after becoming a central political target of former President Donald J. Trump because of his refusal to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election results last year. A former secretary of state of Georgia who has his own record of decisions that made voting harder for the state’s residents, he is again a key G.O.P. voice leading the charge on the issue.

On Saturday, he repeatedly tried to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, the voting rights advocate and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is seen as likely to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.

Ms. Abrams, one of the most prominent critics of Georgia’s voting law, has pushed back on calls for sports leagues and corporations to boycott the state. She said on Friday that she was “disappointed” baseball officials had pulled the All-Star Game but that she was “proud of their stance on voting rights.”

In defending the law in Georgia, Mr. Kemp singled out two Democratically controlled states, New York and Delaware, and compared their voting regulations with the new law in Georgia. Those states do not offer as many options for early voting as Georgia does, but they have also not passed new laws instituting restrictions on voting.

“In New York, they have 10 days of early voting,” Mr. Kemp said (New York actually has nine). “In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17, with two additional Sundays that are optional in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee. In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason.”



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