MetroFocus: April 26, 2021

EXPLORING HATE: ASIAN MAN ASSAULTED, IN STABLE CONDITION

THE CITY SPECIAL REPORT: ASIAN-AMERICAN HATE CRIMES UNDERREPORTED BY NYPD

On Friday night, A 61-year-old Asian man became the latest victim of yet another outrageous assault caught on video. Police say the man was collecting cans in East Harlem when he was attacked from behind, knocked to the ground and repeatedly stomped in the head by his attacker. Many have also seen the video of the shocking attack on a 65-year-old woman near Times Square last month — one of at least 66 anti-Asian bias cases currently under investigation as a hate crime by the NYPD, up from 2020’s year-end count of 28. Just last week, the Senate passed a anti-hate crimes bill aimed at addressing a surge in attacks on Asian Americans amid the Covid-19 pandemic. But an investigation by The City reporters and The Marshall Project say much more action is called for. They report that although the most striking spike in harassment is against Asians 65 and older- hate crimes against elderly Asians in New York are vastly underreported and that the NYPD’s official tally does not capture the thousands of incidents in which Asian New Yorkers were reported as targets of harassment last year as the pandemic raged. Tonight, as part of our Exploring Hate initiative, The City reporter Christine Chung joins us with this special report along with Chris Kwok, a board member for the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TEE AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, THE JPB FOUNDATION, PATTI ASKWITH KENNER.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

OUR FRONT PAGE FORECAST WILL BE BACK NEXT WEEK, BUT TONIGHT IS PART OF EXPLORING HATE, OUR ONGOING INITIATIVE EXAMINING THE INTERSECTION OF RACISM AND EXTREMISM IN AMERICA.

WE'RE BRINGING YOU A SPECIAL REPORT ON THE WAVE OF HARASSMENT AND HATE FACING ASIAN NEW YORKERS.

THIS PAST FRIDAY A 61-YEAR-OLD MAN BECAME THE LATEST VICTIM OF YET ANOTHER OUTRAGEOUS ASSAULT CAUGHT ON VIDEO.

POLICE SAY HE WAS COLLECTING CANS IN EAST HARLEM WHEN HE WAS ATTACKED FROM BEHIND AND HAD HIS HEAD REPEATEDLY STOMPED ON.

THIS LATEST ASSAULT COMES ON THE HEELS OF SIMILAR ATTACKS AND A REPORT FROM THE NONPROFIT NEWS ORGANIZATION 'THE CITY.'

IT TEAMED UP WITH THE MARSHALL PROJECT.

THE NEWS OUTLET FOUND THAT AS OF LAST WEEK, THERE WERE AT LEAST 66 ASIAN BIAS CASES UNDER INVESTIGATION AS A HATE CRIME.

BUT THE OFFICIAL TALLY DOES NOT CAPTURE THE THOUSANDS OF INCIDENTS IN WHICH ASIANS AND ESPECIALLY SENIORS WERE REPORTED AS TARGETS OF HARASSMENT LAST YEAR.

EACH AS THE NYPD REPORTEDLY INVESTIGATED FEW OF THESE INCIDENTS AS HATE CRIMES, RECORDS SHOW A VAST NUMBER OF CASES CLOSED WITHOUT A.CTION.

CHRISTINE CHUNG JOINS US.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

WELCOME BACK TO CHRIS KWOK.

CHRIS IS A BOARD MEMBER FOR THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK.

WELCOME BACK TO THE SHOW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

SO CHRISTINE, I WANT TO START WITH BUILDING ON WHAT I DESCRIBED IN THE INTRO ABOUT THIS LATEST ATTACK THAT TOOK PLACE IN EAST HARLEM.

IS THERE ANYTHING MORE YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT WHAT WE KNOW OR WHAT IS BELIEVED TO HAVE HAPPENED AND ALSO WHAT WAS CAPTURED ON VIDEO?

THIS PAST FRIDAY, A 61-YEAR-OLD ASIAN MAN WAS OUT COLLECTING CANS IN EAST HARLEM WHEN HE WAS ATTACKED FROM BEHIND, COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED.

HE WAS SHOVED TO THE GROUND AND KICKED.

HE IS REPORTEDLY IN A MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA, SO THINGS ARE NOT LOOKING GREAT FOR HIM.

HIS WIFE SAID HE WAS COLLECTING CANS BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY OTHER OPTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC.

HE LOST HIS JOB AT A RESTAURANT.

THIS WAS REALLY, I GUESS, HIS OCCUPATION.

SO HE WAS OUT WORKING.

WE DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE PERPETRATOR OTHER THAN THE FOOTAGE THAT THE NYPD HAS RELEASED.

THIS IS VIDEO FOOTAGE AND PHOTOS WHICH DESCRIBE AND DEPICT HIS FACE, BUT NO ARREST HAS BEEN MADE SO WE REALLY DON'T KNOW VERY MUCH ABOUT THE PERPETRATOR.

CHRIS, WE'VE SPOKEN BEFORE ON THE SHOW ABOUT THE DIFFICULTY OR THE CHALLENGES IN GETTING ASSAULT CATEGORIZED AS A HATE CRIME.

I'M WONDERING WHERE THINGS STAND NOW AND WHY THERE STILL SEEMS TO BE A CHALLENGE IN GETTING SOME OF THESE ASSAULTS CATEGORIZED AS HATE CRIMES.

IT DOESN'T APPEAR THAT ANYTHING WAS SAID TO INDICATE THAT.

WE KNOW WE'RE IN AN ERA OF ANTI-ASIAN HATE OR ATTACKS, SO IT'S HAPPENING IN THAT CONTEXT.

SO OTHER THINGS LIKE WORDS OR SYMBOLS DON'T EXIST HERE.

UNDER EXISTING HATE CRIME LAWS, IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT GIVEN WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR TO PRESS SOMETHING LIKE THAT, ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT WE KNOW SORT OF THE ERA WE'RE IN AND WHAT'S HAPPENING.

WHAT ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGE?

THERE WAS ANOTHER CRIME.

I WON'T SAY SIMILAR, BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH IT DID INVOLVE AN OLDER ASIAN INDIVIDUAL, BUT THERE WAS ANOTHER CRIME THAT WAS CAUGHT, I BELIEVE, IN THE EAST VILLAGE.

I BELIEVE IT WAS IN THE EAST VILLAGE.

THE POINT IS THAT IT WAS AN OLDER WOMAN CAUGHT ON CAMERA BEING ASSAULTED AND KNOCKED TO THE GROUND AS SHE WAS, I BELIEVE, ON HER WAY TO CHURCH OF ALL THINGS.

TIMES SQUARE.

OKAY.

TIMES SQUARE, SORRY.

MY LARGER POINT IS WHERE DOES THAT CASE STAND AND WOULD THAT HAVE ANY IMPACT ON THE WAY THIS LATEST INCIDENT WOULD BE HANDLED?

OBVIOUSLY HE WAS ARRESTED.

HE WAS SAYING THINGS LIKE YOU DON'T BELONG HERE.

SO THOSE ARE VERY MUCH SORT OF ALONG THE LINES WHERE YOU COULD LEAD TO PRESSING OF A HATE CRIMES CHARGE.

I'M NOT SURE EXACTLY WHERE THAT IS RIGHT NOW, IF THAT HAS BEEN PRESSED.

WHETHER OR NOT THE MANHATTAN D.A. WOULD TAKE THAT AND USE THAT AS A SORT OF INFORMING THIS PARTICULAR CHARGE, I DON'T THINK SO.

I DON'T THINK IT WOULD BE.

EVEN THOUGH THEY APPEAR SO SIMILAR AND REALLY JUST DEPRESSING -- WHEN I SAW IT, I LITERALLY SAT DOWN AND I WAS LIKE I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE CAN DO.

IT'S LIKE THE AIR.

IT JUST HAPPENS.

WE'RE IN A PERIOD WHERE WE HAVE UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICERS MAKING SOME ARRESTS, PEOPLE DOING PATROLS.

YOU CAN'T PATROL EVERY SINGLE STREET BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.

OF COURSE.

CHRISTINE, I'M WONDERING DID YOUR REPORTING UNCOVER ANY INDICATIONS ON WHAT THE NYPD'S DATA ON ANTI-ASIAN BIAS CASES WAS?

YEAH.

SO TO ADD ONE THING TO WHAT CHRIS WAS SAYING, THE PERPETRATOR IN THAT HELL'S KITCHEN/TIMES SQUARE INCIDENT HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND CHARGED AS A HATE CRIME.

I THINK ONE OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE TWO INCIDENTS, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE SIMILAR IN THE SENSE THAT THEY ARE BOTH VERY GRISLY ATTACKS ON ASIAN SENIORS WHO DID NOTHING TO PROVOKE THE ATTACKER, IS THAT IN THE HELL'S KITCHEN INCIDENT, THE 65-YEAR-OLD WHO WAS ATTACKED WAS ABLE TO REMEMBER THE WORDS SPOKEN TO HER.

THIS MAN IS IN A COMA, SO THERE'S NO WAY HE CAN TELL POLICE, HEY, THIS MAN SAID SOMETHING TO ME FROM BEHIND AS I WAS COLLECTING CANS.

AS CHRIS SAID, SHE WAS ABLE TO REMEMBER THAT PERPETRATOR SAID F YOU, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE, ASIAN, AS HE WAS KICKING HER.

WE DON'T HAVE ANY WORDS THAT WE KNOW OF OR THREATS OF HARM THAT WERE RACIALLY BASED, SO THAT'S WHY WE HAVE NO INDICATION OF WHAT CHARGE THERE WILL BE.

OBVIOUSLY NO ARREST HAS BEEN MADE.

GOING BACK TO YOUR QUESTION ABOUT THE DATA AND WHAT IT UNCOVERED, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THE 66 -- AT LEAST 66.

IT'S NOW SURPASSED IT.

ANTI-ASIAN BIAS CRIMES BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE NYPD AS HATE CRIMES, SO THESE ARE JUST THE ONES BEING INVESTIGATED AS HATE CRIMES.

WE HAVE SO MANY MORE INCIDENTS THAT DON'T GET CATEGORIZED AS HATE CRIMES BECAUSE THERE AREN'T THREATS ISSUED OR MAYBE THE VICTIM DOESN'T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT WAS SAID.

I IMAGINE IF I WAS BEING ATTACKED, I WOULDN'T REALLY REMEMBER EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED.

SO ANOTHER REASON WHY MAYBE SOME THINGS DON'T FAIL TO GET CAPTURED IS BECAUSE OF LANGUAGE BARRIERS.

THE VICTIM MIGHT NOT SPEAK ENGLISH AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IS BEING SAID.

I THINK THE UNDERREPORTING IS SOMETHING, A REALLY BIG PHENOMENON THAT THE NUMBERS, THE 66, DON'T CAPTURE THESE PHENOMENON.

WHAT WE ARE REPORTING IN THE CITY, THE MARSHALL PROJECT -- THE INCIDENT ON FRIDAY WOULD BE ASSAULT.

BUT FOR AN INCIDENT, IF SOMEONE YELLED A SLUR AT AN ASIAN PERSON OR THREATENED TO HARM THEM WITHOUT SAYING SOMETHING RACIAL, THAT MIGHT BE CATEGORIZED AS HARASSMENT WHICH IS NOT A CRIME, IT'S A VIOLATION.

VIOLATIONS NEED TO BE WITNESSED BY AN OFFICER IN ORDER FOR AN ARREST TO BE MADE.

WE LEARNED 303 OF THESE HAPPENED LAST YEAR.

THESE WERE ONES THAT WERE NOT EVEN INVESTIGATED BY THE POLICE BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THEY ARE NOT BY THEIR NATURE CRIMES.

I'M WONDERING IF YOUR REPORTING WAS ABLE TO UNCOVER SOME COMPARATIVE NOTES.

HAVE WE SEEN SIMILAR NUMBERS WITH OTHER GROUPS LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY?

LIKE WHERE DO THESE INCIDENTS HAPPENING WITH ASIAN NEW YORKERS, HOW DO THEY COMPARE WITH OTHER GROUPS?

FOR THE ASIAN SENIOR GROUPS WE LOOKED AT, WE FOUND THERE WERE ATTACKS HAPPENING IN QUEENS AND OZONE PARK IN FLUSHING, WHICH ARE MAJORITY ASIAN NEIGHBORHOODS.

THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HARASSMENTS DROPPED FROM 2019 TO 2020 ACROSS ALL AGE GROUPS AND ETHNICITIES, BUT IT INCREASED FOR ASIAN SENIORS.

IT WENT UP 11%. WHEN WE LOOKED FURTHER AT THE INDIVIDUAL ETHNICITIES, WHITE, BLACK, LATINO, WE SAW THOSE NUMBERS ACTUALLY DECREASED ACROSS AGE GROUPS AND ETHNICITIES.

IT REALLY WAS A TREND THAT SHOWED VIOLENCE AGAINST ASIAN SENIORS REALLY SOARED LAST YEAR.

CHRIS, YOU WERE ON ONE OF OUR MONDAY ROUNDTABLES.

WHEN THIS ISSUE CAME UP, SO DID THE VERY DELICATE ISSUE OF THE RACE OR BELIEVED ETHNICITY OF SOME OF THE SUSPECTS WHO WERE COMMITTING THESE CRIMES.

I'M WONDERING IF FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE DOES THAT PLAY IN AT ALL TO HOW THESE CASES ARE BEING HANDLED?

I DON'T THINK SO.

BY THE POLICE, I THINK THE POLICE ARE JUST DEALING WITH SORT OF COVID-19 AND ITS INTERSECTION WITH ASIANS AND THE ASIAN ETHNICITY HAS BEEN A REALLY CHALLENGE FOR THEM.

I THINK THEY'VE BEEN FOCUSED ON KNOWING HOW TO DEAL WITH IT.

I THINK THEY'RE FINALLY GETTING AROUND TO IT, BUT I HOPE THEY WOULDN'T SORT OF FOCUS ON THE BLACK ATTACKERS, BECAUSE THERE'S PLENTY OF EVERYBODY, QUITE HONESTLY.

TO THE EXTENT THERE WOULD BE A LASER FOCUS ON A BLACK-ASIAN NARRATIVE, THAT WOULD NOT BE INSTRUCTIVE OR USEFUL.

WE SAW THE FATHER AND THE SON -- I THINK HIS NAME WAS CALVIN HUNT -- WHO CAME TO THE HOBBY TO SHOW SUPPORT.

THEN THERE WAS A MULTICULTURAL RALLY IN HARLEM ALSO ON SUNDAY.

SO IT'S A DEFECT ISSUE, BECAUSE I THINK THE MEDIA -- NOT THE CITY OF COURSE, BUT CERTAIN PARTS OF THE MEDIA DOES WANT TO PROMOTE A BLACK VERSUS ASIAN NARRATIVE.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW THERE'S A MUCH LARGER ISSUE, THAT IT'S A SOCIETAL ISSUE, A SYSTEMIC ISSUE AND A DEEP ROOTED ISSUE.

THOSE ARE THE THINGS WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND AS WE LOOK TO THIS PROBLEM.

CHRISTINE, THE NYPD'S DEPUTY INSPECTOR JESSICA COREY WHO'S WITHIN THE HATE CRIMES TASK FORCE SAYS REPORTS OF HARASSMENT THAT ARE CLOSED AND NOT INVESTIGATED IS BECAUSE THEY'RE VIOLATIONS AND NOT CRIMES, AS YOU SAID.

I'M WONDERING FROM YOUR REPORTING, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY NEW YORKERS SHOULD DO?

SHOULD THEY CONTINUE TO REPORT THESE CRIMES SO THAT THE NYPD HAS THESE NUMBERS?

OR SHOULD THEY BE REPORTING THEM TO OTHER GROUPS, THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION AND AAPI GROUPS, ET CETERA?

DEPUTY INSPECTOR COREY SAID THAT EVEN THOUGH THESE CASES TEND TO BE CLOSED AND NOT INVESTIGATED BASED ON THE NATURE OF THE VIOLATION, THAT IT IS IMPORTANT TO REPORT THEM TO THE NYPD IF THE VICTIM IS COMFORTABLE DOING SO, OF COURSE, BECAUSE IT WOULD HELP THEM PROVE A PATTERN.

IF A PERPETRATOR IS GOING AROUND HARASSING MANY ASIAN PEOPLE EVEN IF WORDS AREN'T BEING SAID, MAYBE IT WOULD HELP THE POLICE LOCATE SOME SORT OF PATTERN OR TO BE ABLE TO ESCALATE A CHARGE BEYOND HARASSMENT.

I THINK IT'S SUPER IMPORTANT TO DO WHATEVER THE VICTIM FEELS COMFORTABLE DOING.

THE ONUS IS NOT ONLY ON THE VICTIM TO REPORT THE CRIME.

IT'S UP TO ALL OF US.

IT'S UP TO GROUPS TO MAKE THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE DOING SO FOR THERE TO BE SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE TO EITHER REPORT IT TO THE AUTHORITIES OR ANY ANYWAY THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE.

THERE'S THE ASIAN AMERICAN FEDERATION.

YOU CAN REPORT A CRIME OR AN INCIDENT THAT WAY IN MULTIPLE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.

YOU COULD REPORT A CRIME TO THE CITY COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS WHICH INVESTIGATES BIAS INCIDENTS.

THERE ARE NUMEROUS WAYS THAT VICTIMS OR WITNESSES CAN REPORT THINGS SAFELY AND ANONYMOUSLY AND IN LANGUAGE, IF THEY CHOOSE TO DO SO.

THE AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT, NOT THE REGULAR HARASSMENT, THE AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT, WHEN IT'S HARASSMENT ON THE BASIS OF RACE OR ORIGIN, MY POLICE BELIEF IS E POLICE OFFICER DOES NOT NEED TO OBSERVE THAT HAPPENING, IT CAN BE REPORTED.

LIKE IF THEY HEAR SOMEONE SAY HARASSMENT, THEY'RE LIKE I'VE GOT TO SEE IT.

AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT WHICH IS A CRIME AND RAISES IT FROM A VIOLATION TO A CRIME BECAUSE IT'S BASED ON RACE, NATIONAL ORIGIN OR PROTECTED CATEGORY.

THEY DON'T HAVE TO OBSERVE IT.

WE HAVE LIKE A DISCONNECT FOR PERHAPS THE TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE POLICE TO SAY, OKAY, I DIDN'T SEE IT, BUT BECAUSE YOU'RE ASIAN AND MAYBE IT'S ABOUT RACE, I CAN GO SPEND SOME INVESTIGATIVE TIME.

OTHERWISE, I CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT, JUST GO ON, SORRY.

THAT'S SOMETHING THAT THE NYPD COULD TAKE A LOOK AT.

CHRISTINE, WERE YOU GOING TO ADD SOMETHING?

NO.

I THINK CHRIS MAKES A VERY GOOD POINT.

THERE ARE MULTIPLE DIFFERENT KINDS OF HARASSMENT AND WE SHOULDN'T BE TREATING IT AS ONE LUMP SUM CATEGORY.

I DO WONDER IF WE'RE SEEING ANY PARTICULAR SIMILARITIES WHEN IT COMES TO THE WAY OLDER ASIANS ARE BEING TREATED AS OPPOSED TO THE REST OF THE ASIAN DIASPORA AGE WISE.

THEY'VE BEEN TARGETED.

JANUARY 28th IN SAN FRANCISCO, THE PERSON WHO WAS SHOVED, THAT KIND OF SET OFF THIS LATEST WAVE OF ATTENTION.

WE SAW THAT ON THE EAST COAST.

WE KIND OF FELT IN OUR BONES LIKE THAT WAS PROBABLY HAPPENING TOO.

I THINK WHAT THE CITY DID WITH ITS REPORTING AND THE MARSHALL PROJECT WAS TO SHOW US THAT ASIAN AMERICAN WOMEN WERE PARTICULARLY TARGETED, THE MOST HELPLESS IN THE SENSE THAT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO PRESENT A TARGET THAT'S GOING TO FIGHT BACK.

THAT IS A HEARTBREAKING ASPECT OF THIS.

I WANT TO TURN TO THE LATEST ACTION AT LEAST ON THE PART OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT.

THE SENATE RECENTLY PASSED AN ANTI-HATE CRIMES BILL AIMED AT ADDRESSING THE SURGE IN ATTACKS ON ASIAN AMERICANS.

CHRIS, WHAT IMPACT DO YOU SEE THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION BEING ABLE TO HAVE?

THE FEDERAL LEGISLATION, RIGHT?

THE FEDERAL LEGISLATION, YES.

IT KIND OF DIRECTS THE DOJ TO CREATE ONLINE REPORTING, ENCOURAGE REPORTING THROUGH THE STATE LEVEL.

SO IN MANY WAYS IT'S TELLING THE GOVERNMENT TO DO ITS JOB IN A WAY THAT NONPROFITS HAVE DONE SO FAR FOR THE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY.

THAT'S ONE PART.

THE OTHER PART IS ALSO ROLL DOWN GRANTS AND AID TO LOCAL D.A.'S.

IF THERE'S ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE SECOND LANGUAGE CAPABLE POLICE OFFICERS, INVESTIGATORS OR PEOPLE IN THE D.A.'S OFFICE, THAT COULD REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

THERE'S ENOUGH MONEY IN THERE TO ROLL DOWN TO STATE D.A.'S TO DO THAT, THAT MIGHT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

CHRISTINE?

I WOULD ADD THAT THE NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE RECENTLY PASSED ITS BUDGET, BOOKMARKING TENS OF MILLIONS TO AAPI GROUPS TO IMPROVE DATA COLLECTION FOR THESE KINDS OF INCIDENTS AND TO SUPPORT THE GROUPS LIKE ASIAN AMERICAN FEDERATION, THE GROUPS DOING THE WORK ON THE GROUND RIGHT NOW TO HELP VICTIMS IN THE MOMENT AFTER AND BEFORE THINGS EVEN HAPPEN TO PREVENT CRIMES, PERIOD.

THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK IS SUPER IMPORTANT.

THESE ARE THE GROUPS WHERE LITERALLY COMMUNITY MEMBERS ALREADY FEEL MOST COMFORTABLE GOING TO, I IMAGINE IN MANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

THEY SPEAK THE LANGUAGE.

SO IT'S A SUPER IMPORTANT THING I THINK THAT THE STATE LEGISLATURE DID IN ORDER TO SUPPORT COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY ARE.

WELL, I'M WONDERING WHAT ACTIONS ARE COMMUNITY GROUPS ABLE TO TAKE TO HELP PROTECT AND MORE IMPORTANTLY HELP PARTICULARLY OLDER ASIANS IN THE CITY FEEL SAFE WHEN THEY'RE JUST GOING ABOUT THEIR DAILY LIVES.

I'M WONDERING IF THERE'S ANY COMMUNITY OR GROUP ACTION BEING TAKEN, OR IS IT JUST A MATTER OF MAKING SURE THERE'S SOMEONE THERE, SHOULD SOMETHING HAPPEN, TO WALK THEM THROUGH THE PROCESS.

CHRIS?

THERE ARE STREET PATROLS.

PEOPLE ARE LIKE WALKING THROUGH NEIGHBORHOODS IN CHINATOWN, ALSO IN FLUSHING.

THERE ARE PEOPLE ESCORTING THE PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN CALL.

THEY'LL ESCORT YOU AS YOU RUN YOUR ERRANDS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

I THINK ALL THOSE ARE GREAT, BUT I'M THINKING ABOUT HOW PERVASIVE THIS IS.

I HAVE TO SAY THAT I FEEL LIKE, I DON'T KNOW, IT'S LIKE IN THE AIR.

IT'S JUST ANOTHER VIRUS.

HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THIS?

THE FEDERATION HAS A PROGRAM CALLED HOPE AGAINST HATE, COMMUNITY SAFE CENTERS, APPS.

THERE'S ALL SORTS OF THINGS WE CAN DO.

YEAH, I DON'T KNOW.

CHRISTINE, I KNOW THAT YOUR REPORTING FOCUSED SO HEAVILY ON THE WAY THESE CRIMES ARE BEING REPORTED AND OF COURSE THE DATA COLLECTED BY THE NYPD.

BUT I'M WONDERING IF YOU WERE ALSO TO GET A SENSE OF WHAT THE IMPACT OF THIS SURGE IN CRIMES, HARASSMENTS AND OTHER INCIDENTS IS HAVING ON PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO LIVE THEIR DAILY LIVES?

YEAH.

I THINK PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY ASIAN AMERICAN SENIORS ARE VERY AFRAID TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES.

IT'S LIKE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC WHEN WE WERE AFRAID OF GETTING THE VIRUS.

ASIAN AMERICANS AND ESPECIALLY OLD PEOPLE ARE LITERALLY TRAPPED INSIDE THEIR HOMES.

WHO KNOWS WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN?

I THINK IT'S A REALLY, REALLY SAD CONTRAST IN BEHAVIOR.

ONE THING THAT I MIGHT ADD IN TERMS OF HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP, OBVIOUSLY HOW DO WE SOLVE SYSTEMIC RACISM?

I DON'T KNOW.

THIS IS A DISCUSSION THAT WE'RE REALLY HAVING IN THIS MOMENT, WHICH I THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT, BUT IT DOESN'T COME DOWN TO ONE PERSON OR ONE GROUP OR ONE SOLUTION OR ONE BILL.

I THINK ONE THING THAT HAS BEEN REALLY ENLIGHTENING TO ME OVER THE COURSE OF MY REPORTING HAS BEEN THE FACT THAT IT REALLY DOES COME DOWN TO AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS IN TERMS OF PREVENTING OR ADDRESSING CRIME IN THE MOMENT.

THEY DID NOT HAVE ANYBODY RIGHT THEN TO HELP THEM.

MAYBE IF WE SEE SOMETHING, IF WE HEAR SOMETHING, EVEN IF YOU HEAR SOMETHING, IT CAN BE REPORTED TO THE POLICE.

IT IS ON US TO REPORT SAFELY IF WE CAN WITHOUT ENDANGERING OURSELVES.

A LOT OF GROUPS ARE HOLDING BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAININGS, SELF-DEFENSE TRAINING FOR ALLIES OR POTENTIAL VICTIMS TO PREPARE THEMSELVES AS BEST THEY CAN FOR ANY VIOLENCE THAT MIGHT OCCUR.

OF COURSE.

CHRIS, I'M ALSO WONDERING IF THERE SHOULD BE ANY TYPE OF RESPONSIBILITY ON PERHAPS PEOPLE WHO WITNESS CRIMES WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN SOME SORT OF SECURITY TYPE POSITION.

I SAY THAT BECAUSE OF THE INCIDENT WITH THE WOMAN THAT WAS CAPTURED ON TAPE THAT HAPPENED IN HELL'S KITCHEN TIMES SQUARE, THERE WERE SECURITY GUARDS WHO SAW THE WHOLE THING.

IS THAT THE ANSWER, THAT YOU SHOULDN'T JUST BE A BYSTANDER WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPEN?

OR IS THAT ASKING TOO MUCH OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY PERHAPS NOT IN JOBS WHERE THEY'RE REALLY PAID ENOUGH TO BE PUTTING THEIR BODY ON THE LINE?

MY WIFE AND I HAD A VERY HEATED DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS.

I'M AN EMPLOYMENT LAWYER, MY DAY JOB.

I SAID, YOU KNOW, THE GUY WAS WORRIED ABOUT HIS JOB.

HE'S LIKE IF I STEP IN THERE AND I DO SOMETHING, I'M GOING TO GET HURT OR I'M GOING TO GET FIRED.

I MEAN, I WISH HE WOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING, LIKE, HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

MAYBE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH.

AT THE SAME TIME I WAS LIKE THAT GUY HAD A KNIFE, HE PULLED A KNIFE ON THE BYSTANDER.

I WOULDN'T EXPECT HIM TO DO THAT.

I WOULDN'T HAVE SAID YOU MUST DO THAT.

THAT WAS A REALLY DIFFICULT DECISION.

FOR THOSE GUYS, YOU'RE RIGHT.

THEY'RE LOW WAGE EARNERS THAT ARE JUST LIKE THIS IS MY JOB, I'M JUST TRYING NOT TO GET INVOLVED.

THAT WAS REALLY HARD TO WATCH, BUT I COULDN'T SAY YOU NEED TO GO OUT THERE AND PUT YOURSELF ON THE LINE.

I WOULD HAVE LIKED HIM TO INTERVENE BY SHOUTING OUT AS MUCH AS HE COULD.

VERY SADLY, I UNDERSTAND.

BUT AS NEW YORKERS, I THINK WE ALL NEED TO SORT OF SAY, HEY, ALL THIS STRESS ON THE CITY IS HAPPENING.

EVERYONE IS BREAKING.

WE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE.

THERE IS A GENERAL SENSE OF PEOPLE LASHING OUT BEING REALLY CLOSE TO EXPLOSION EVERYWHERE.

ASIANS ARE AT THE TIP OF IT, BEING BLAMED AS THE CAUSE OF IT.

WE'RE BEARING THE BRUNT OF IT.

IT'S HAPPENING ALL ACROSS THE CITY.

WE NEED TO CARE FOR EACH OTHER AS NEW YORKERS AND HAVE EACH OT OT OTHER'S BACK.

JUST TO SPREAD THAT SENSE OF TOGETHERNESS LIKE WE'RE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS.

THOSE ARE LITTLE THINGS WE CAN ALL DO TO MAKE THINGS A LITTLE LESS STRESSFUL FOR EACH OTHER.

FINALLY QU LQUESTION.

CHRISTINE, WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT D.A. SHOULD BE DOING IN ORDER TO SEND THE MESSAGE TO COMMUNITIES THAT THESE CRIMES ARE BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY?

I THINK ACTING SWIFTLY IS AN IMPORTANT THING THAT D.A.'S CAN BE DOING.

ONE THING THAT IS NEW IS THAT THE NYPD HAS FORMED A HATE CRIMES REVIEW PANEL WITH COMMUNITY MEMBERS, WHICH WILL ACTUALLY BE IN COMMUNICATION WITH THE D.A.'S OTHER WHETHER CERTAIN CASES SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED AS HATE CRIMES.

I THINK THAT'S A REALLY COOL, INCLUSIVE ACTION THAT'S HAPPENING.

IT'S ONLY JUST BEEN FORMED, SO WE'LL SEE HOW IT WORKS.

BUT I THINK THIS KIND OF COLLABORATION WITH THE COMMUNITY, INVOLVING THEM IN THE DISCUSSION, IS SUPER IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT MANY COMMUNITY MEMBERS OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST YEAR DON'T THINK CERTAIN CRIMES HAVE BEEN TREATED APPROPRIATELY OR CHARGED APPROPRIATELY.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE, BUT THIS WILL OF COURSE BE AN ONGOING DISCUSSION.

THANK YOU TO BOTH OF OUR GUESTS, CHRISTINE CHUNG AND CHRIS KWOK.

THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME AND HAVING THIS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT CONVERSATION.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, JENNA.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, THE JPB FOUNDATION, PATTI ASKWITH KENNER.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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