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GRAPHIC: Study says hate crimes against Asian Americans up 164% from last year

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 7:50 AM AKDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) - Hate crimes against Asian Americans have been spiking since the beginning of this year, new research shows.

They’re up 164% over the same period last year, according to the study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino.

Reports of attacks on Asian Americans have occurred across the country.

An Asian American father was beaten by a stranger last Friday as he was standing near an intersection in San Francisco, according to police, with his one-year-old baby in a stroller.

“I couldn’t protect my child, and I was on the floor, and he was in a stroller that was slowly actually rolling away. So, it was definitely very scary as a parent,” the victim said. “I was just trying to shield my head and trying to prevent any, like, worse injuries.”

When asked if he thought he was targeted because of his race, the victim said it crossed his mind.

San Francisco police said “the attack appeared to be random and that 26-year-old Sidney Hammond has been charged with assault and child endangerment, among others.”

Also in San Francisco, two elderly women, who were waiting for the bus, were both stabbed on Tuesday.

“It was a pretty big knife … like a military knife,” Patricia Lee, a witness to the crime, said. “Her back was turned and all I saw was the feathers come out of her jacket, so I’m very sure that she got sliced.”

San Francisco police say they have not ruled this incident out as a hate crime. Police arrested 54-year-old Patrick Thompson in connection to the crime. He has been charged with attempted murder and elder abuse.

And in New York, two Asian American women were also targeted in an attack.

Video shows the suspect approaching the women from behind. Authorities said the individual demanded they take off their masks. The suspect then began to swing at them with a hammer as the victims fight back.

The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating and asking the public to help track down the suspect.

These are just the latest in a wave of attacks against Asian Americans since the pandemic began in 2020.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks anti-Asian hate, there have been more than 6,000 incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders reported from March 2020 to March 2021, with most of them happening in public places and businesses.

New York City has seen the largest spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, with a 223% increase in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to a study.

In April, the Senate overwhelmingly passed an anti-Asian hate crimes bill that aims to create awareness and expedite reviews of crimes targeting Asian Americans.

However, Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, said more needs to be done to prevent these kinds of attacks rather than only responding to them.

“We are really pushing for things like community safety programs, bystander intervention, chaperoning or escort services, neighborhood watches,” she said. “Things that really make us safe in our own neighborhoods and in real time.”

Stop AAPI Hate says it doesn’t independently verify reports of incidents, but it only counts those that come with a description. They say most of the reports are of verbal harassment

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