As attacks on Asian Americans continue to spike across the Bay Area, a new foot patrol has formed and intends to walk the streets of Oakland's Chinatown to help protect the community's residents and businesses.
The East Bay Toishan Association, a nonprofit organization, convened an inaugural meeting of its Oakland Chinatown foot patrol group.
Members of the group will be unarmed but will provide extra sets of eyes and ears, and the organization hopes their presence will be a deterrent to those looking to harm community members.
The patrol group aims to partner with the Oakland Police Department to report incidents, the organization said.
"I'm here to help with reports," said Officer Mae Phu of the Oakland Police Asian Community Liaison.
Phu’s job is to collect evidence faster by breaking down language barriers.
"A person that hopefully they can trust and be able to speak with," he said.
In recent weeks, Asian Americans have been the targets of violent attacks in Oakland and other Bay Area cities. One Oakland incident involved a 71-year old who was robbed and attacked.
In San Francisco, an 84-year-old Asian man was shoved to the ground while walking down the sidewalk and ultimately died.
The volunteer patrol program is backed by the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities, Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus, as well as family associations such as Yingduan General Chamber of Commerce and the other Chinatown based organizations.
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.