“Every community suffered. But there’s been a particular pain a particular horrible challenge faced by the Asian American community because on top of all the suffering from the Coronavirus itself on top of losing loved ones losing businesses, people have had to confront horrible discrimination and hatred,” the mayor said.
The Asian Hate Crime Task Force will focus everywhere in the city with a particular focus on the subways.
Mayor de Blasio said the Human Rights Commission is working and meeting with Asian community leaders this week on the next measures the city needs to take.
Congressmember Grace Meng also spoke at the mayor’s briefing on Tuesday and said, “We were we have already seen our members and small businesses fight the pandemic of anti-Asian hatred. And these racist attacks have been outrageous, unconscionable, disgusting, and it must end. I also want to say a special thank you to so many other communities of color who have stood with us and stood publicly against this sort of discrimination that allyship is incredibly important and meaningful.”
She pointed to recent crimes where a Filipino man was slashed across the face on the subway and an Asian American woman was shoved to the ground in Queens.
“So many Asian Americans literally live in fear and are afraid to leave their homes because they don’t know what might happen to them. Last year in September, I was proud that the House passed my resolution that denounces anti-Asian bigotry,” Meng said. “It also included measures that would require the federal government to work with the Department of Justice to collect more data and statistics on where and how these crimes are happening. And also to work with departments like the health department to ensure that resources about COVID were being spread out, equitably.”
Rep. Meng said that just last month, President Biden signed a memorandum that contained some of those measures.
The commanding officer of the task force, Deputy Inspector Stewart Loo outlined some of the things the NYPD is doing to tackle anti-Asian hate crimes.
“The NYPD has responded by creating the Asian Hate Crime Task Force. We have 25 of the best Asian American detectives in the world speaking 11 different languages. These detectives have the background and skillset to effectively help the Asian Americans living here in New York City,” Loo said.
Mayor de Blasio said that the presence of the task force is encouraging people to speak up about the crimes being committed.
“The most important part is the way you’re engaging the community and listening and showing people that whatever they’re seeing and feeling, it will be acted on,” de Blasio said. “It is so important for people to speak up.”
He added, “Do not ever for a moment, think that you shouldn’t speak up don’t think for a moment that it won’t lead to action, it can and will lead to action, it’s don’t think it’s too small. Because a lot of times that we find something, it leads us to other things that need to be stopped. So we want people to come forward not to feel any hesitation.”
JoAnn Yoo of the Asian American Federation announced that there would be a rally this Saturday at Foley Square at 1 p.m. to show solidarity with the Asian American Community.
“I want to be really clear. There is no place for hate in New York City, never has been, never will be,” de Blasio said.
The mayor asked New Yorkers to go to nyc.gov/stopasianhate and he said he wants to encourage everyone on social media to show support by using the hashtag #StopAsianHate.
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