Communities Take Action as Violence Toward Asian-Americans Spikes

Tired of the recent attacks on Asian-American communities nationwide and in the Bay Area, people are taking a stand.

Volunteers are patrolling Oakland’s Chinatown, where a 91-year-old man was recently shoved to the ground. Violence like this is sparking anger and drawing the attention of Hollywood actors like Daniel Wu and Daniel Dae Kim. They put up a $25,000 reward to help police find a suspect, and a man is now in custody.

“It could have been my grandparents or family members, or anyone, so that’s why we have to step up and join as one,” said one of the volunteers doing a patrol.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, there have been 2,800 hate crimes reported against Asian-Americans nationwide, with 700 in the Bay Area.

"The whole neighborhood is under siege," said Barry Szeto of Oakland. "People beat you up, people rob you every day. At least 10 to 15 cases just within a few blocks of here."

There is even more concern now that the Lunar New Year is this Friday.

"The criminals know that Chinatown is a community that deals with cash, primarily," said Jason Akima of Oakland. "People come out and the pull cash out of the banks for Chinese New Year, so they're just prime targets."

People who live and work in Oakland's Chinatown say they appreciate people volunteering their time to keep the area safe, but they would rather see police officers doing the foot patrol.

Editor's note: In a previous version of this story we reported that a 91-year-old Asian man in Oakland had been shoved to the ground. We have since learned that man was Latino and not Asian.

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