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Rise in Attacks on Elderly Asian Americans in Bay Area prompts New Special Response Unit

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The coronavirus pandemic has sparked an increase in anti-Asian bias throughout the nation, raising concerns for the Asian community. 

What We Know:

  • A study conducted by the Pew Research Center announced that 31% of Asian Americans say they have been subject to racist slurs or xenophobic jokes since the pandemic began, and 26% said they feared someone might physically attack them.
  • Now, several attacks on elderly Asian Americans in the Bay Area have raised concerns about the safety of the Asian community. Oakland, California, home to one of the largest Chinatowns in the U.S., has announced a new special response unit to focus on the issue. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced that “The rapid increase in criminal acts targeted against members of the Asian community, particularly Chinese Americans, who live and work in Alameda County is intolerable.” 
  • The movement comes after a string of alarming assaults, including the death of an 84-year-old man from Thailand, who died in San Francisco after he was attacked while out on a morning walk in January. Nearby, police investigated an incident in Oakland where a man violently shoved three elderly Asian American people in Chinatown that resulted in the injuries of a 91-year-old man, a 60-year-old man, and a 55-year-old woman.
  • On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took time to address the escalating hate crimes during her press briefing. She commented on the President’s behalf, saying, Biden has “been outspoken in making clear that attacks, verbal attacks, any attacks of any form, are unacceptable.”

Last month, the President signed an executive order acknowledging racism being directed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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