San Francisco police and community groups are looking to get the word out about a critical tool that could take away a roadblock to reporting crimes against the Asian community.
In Chinatown, there are now signs of showing up more frequently as they advertise an anonymous tip line where crimes can be reported in Cantonese and Mandarin. 415-558-5588.
“We have worked to distribute 20,000 of these flyers informational fliers and cards,” said Alan Wong with the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association.
Wong joined other leaders on Friday in promoting the new hotline.
“We think that language access is very important to the Chinese community. This is a way of making sure that we close that gap in communication with a rising number of hate crimes and other crimes and Asian community," Wong added.
The phone number is 415-558-5588. In an emergency, officials recommend people still need to call 911 as it’s not a substitute. But if people have information about a crime, they can use it to share what they know.
“I’m not a single case in this city. I’m sure lots of people is facing the same problem so if everyone can stand up to report a case it will he,” said San Francisco resident Derek Tam.
Tam said this is one of the reasons is speaking up. He told NBC Bay Area that he called the police in late March after he was working as a vendor at pop up at the San Francisco Ferry Building, when a man tried to take his phone.
“He become really angry." he said. "He just punched my face. He punched my brushed my left check and say get back to your (expletive) country,” he said.
Tam’s shop Dragon Papa in Chinatown is temporarily closed. He was stunned this happened. But he said that people did try to help him.
“I hear the attack case in some Chinese media, but I never think it will happen on me,” he said.
Tam thinks the new hotline is good for the community to have more options in reaching out to police. He also thinks more needs to be done.