Elder Assault Targeting Asian Americans in the Bay Area – NPR

Background

As someone who does not consume local news, I was not aware of the rise in elder abuse and assaults targeting Asian Americans until I caught a whiff through comments made by Jeremy Lin.

By the way, heard the comments by keeping track of the latest in Sports News.

My go-to websites are ESPN ( ESPN.COM ) and Sports Illustration ( SI.COM ).

 

Story Line

Source:- NPR
Subject:- Anger And Fear As Asian American Seniors Targeted In Bay Area Attacks
Link

Assaults

  1. 64-Year-old Grandmother, San Jose, California
    • Timeline:- 2021-February
    • Last week in San Jose, a 64-year-old grandmother was assaulted and robbed of cash.
    • She had gone to an ATM and withdrawn cash as she prepared to pass on gifts for the Lunar New Year
  2. 91-Year-old Man, China Town, Oakland, California
    • Timeline:- 2021-February
    • A 91-year-old man in Oakland’s Chinatown is hospitalized with severe injuries
    • He was shoved to the ground by a man who walked up behind him
  3. 52-Year-old Woman, China Town, Oakland, California
    • Timeline:- 2021-January
    • In January, a 52-year-old Asian American woman was shot in the head with a flare gun.
    • The incident occurred in Chinatown, Oakland
  4. 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, San Francisco, California
    • Timeline:- 2021-January
    • 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was going for a morning walk in his San Francisco neighborhood.
    • Surveillance cameras captured a man running at him full speed and smashing his frail body to the pavement.
    • Ratanapakdee died of his injuries two days later.
    • A 19-year-old man has been charged with murder and elder abuse.

 

Statistics

  1. National, United States
    • Nearly 3,000 incidents of anti-Asian hate across 47 states and the District of Columbia
  2. Bay Area, California
    • More than Two Dozen recent assaults and robberies
    • Roughly 7 to 8% targetted seniors

Community Response

Chinatown Businesses

Chinatown businesses have reduced working hours

Concerned Citizens

Volunteer Groups

  1. Half a dozen ad hoc volunteer groups have sprung up offering to protect businesses and older residents while they shop
  2. Some of them are young people that have chosen to walk Chinatown
  3. Others have chosen to help seniors pick up their groceries and walk the seniors home; carrying their groceries

Community Strollers

Separately, more than 200 people across the area have volunteered to serve as “community strollers” in Chinatown

 

Elected Officials

Oakland, California

Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas

In the wake of the attacks several Oakland city council members including Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, whose district includes Chinatown, have joined social justice groups warning against scapegoating and calling for solidarity between Asian American and African American communities.

 

Law Enforcement

Oakland, California ( City )

Oakland Anti Police-Terror Project

The Oakland Anti Police-Terror Project has asked people “to wear yellow to show you’re in support of Chinatown seniors and businesses.”

Oakland Police
January 31st, 2021 China Town Assaults against three senior citizens
  1. Oakland police have made an arrest in the Jan. 31st, 2021 Chinatown assaults on three older people.
  2. Yahya Muslim, 28, was charged with assault, battery, and elder abuse.
  3. He has not been charged with hate crimes.
  4. Muslim already had two prior felony assault convictions, according to the Alameda County Sheriff and district attorney offices.
LeRonne Armstrong, Oakland Police Chief
  1. LeRonne Armstrong was recently sworn in as Oakland’s new police chief
  2. Norms
    • He says “it’s not clear to what extent these attacks are race-based or if they have more to do with the coronavirus radically upending economic, social and school norms for nearly a year now.”
  3. Reporting Crimes
    • “I believe there are some individuals in our community who have targeted people of different races,” LeRoone says
    • He says some offenders may see Asian Americans as less likely to report crimes to law enforcement.
    • “That’s why it’s so important that they report it because we’ve seen significant under-reporting of crime that has happened in the Asian community,” the chief says.
  4. Masks
    • The pandemic, chief Armstrong tells NPR, had certainly made it easier for criminals, with time on their hands, to mask up and often slip away unidentified.
    • It is important that businesses and others that have videos share them with us.
    • The mask-wearing, although it’s required and I think very important for health reasons, it also is definitely a deterrence in identifying those that are responsible,” he says.

 

Alameda County, California ( County )

Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County Prosecutor

Alameda County prosecutor Nancy O’Malley announced she’s creating a special response team focused on crimes against Asian Americans.

It’s not unique to Chinatown or to the Asian community the increase in crime we’ve seen across the city and across the county, but we have seen in the last several weeks and month a very specific increase in crimes committed against Asians,” O’Malley told a press conference in Chinatown.

 

References

  1. NPR
    • Anger And Fear As Asian American Seniors Targeted In Bay Area Attacks
      Link

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