A social media post by a San Francisco Chinatown citizen's patrol group is getting lots of attention this weekend and it's not because of an attack on the Asian community.
The United Peace Collaborative came together last year at the start of the pandemic after the Asian community said it was being harassed. They're getting lots of praise for helping someone who initially raised concerns from people Friday night.
The photo showed a man wandering around Chinatown businesses. One of the local merchants shared the image with Leanna Louie this weekend. Louie said the caller was concerned about the man as security concerns remain high.
“He said, oh, look out for this guy, he's been looking into every single store on this block,” Louie said. “And not only that he was looking into every car window and we're afraid he might break into one of the windows.”
Louie and her team of citizen patrollers managed to track him down and talk with him. “How you doing brother, you need anything? He looked at me and he said, 'I'm really hungry,” she added.
Louie took the man to a one of the neighborhood restaurants for some discounted BBQ pork buns. Louie then took a selfie photo of her and him with the takeout bag.
Louie told NBC Bay Area that the whole aim of the patrol group is to not only keep the community safe but also to help those in need. Our news crew watched as Louie offered food to someone sleeping in Portsmouth Square in San Francisco.
Unfortunately, the group also had to deal with some destructive and violent situations over the last year. “We have worked with police and had 12 people arrested, on different occasions, including looting, including vandalism, including graffiti, including assault,” Louie said.
Meanwhile, two members of the United Peace Collaborative were in San Jose Saturday for the ‘Stop AAPI Hate' rally. Louie added that the group recently helped groups in Oakland and San Jose put together their own patrols.
They've also been contacted by people in Los Angeles and Seattle for help. “People are very appreciative of what's happening with these watch groups.”