San Francisco’s Chinatown has been the center of attacks on AAPI elders and crimes at businesses, bringing safety to the forefront there.
On Wednesday, the Chinatown community and police came together for the eighth annual “Chinatown Night Out” event.
“I moved to Chinatown two years ago just to be closer to community, because like I have ties in this area,” said Ken Fong.
What Fong found was a community with some distrust in police.
The event at Portsmouth Square was created by then San Francisco police Central Station captain and now SFPD Assistant Chief David Lazar.
“This year is very special as we work on pushing back against AAPI hate and also making sure that our community is safe,” said Lazar said.
Lazar added that one of the biggest challenges is lack of reporting among the AAPI community.
The misconceptions are wide said Sarah Wan, who is the executive director of Community Youth Center, which also focuses on elders and immigrant communities.
Wan said it can span from trauma to language barriers to concerns their citizenship will be jeopardized.
“A lot of times because we worry our language barrier, our cultural barrier, that we will not like to do any reporting and that really hurts the community eventually, because we have no data, no resources,” she said.
Data like if some of the most high-profile cases involving AAPI victims were deemed “hate crimes.”
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who attended the event, is reviewing her predecessor’s cases to potentially file hate crime charges, estimating there are more than 30 cases.
“They’ve looked through about half of the cases already. They’re working their way through the second half,” she said. “We want to make sure that they feel safe, that they are safe, and that we want to partner with all the organizations that serve this community.”
Source: NBC Bay Area