San Francisco police have arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with robbery and assault of a merchant in Chinatown last week. The victim said the suspect returned to assault her after stealing from her.
The message at San Francisco's Chinatown store "Go Apple" on Thursday was about safety.
The demonstrators said they want merchants and customers to feel safe after recent attacks in the area.
“Someone came into my store and steal something,” said Fanly Chan, Owner of Go Apple store in Chinatown.
Chan said surveillance cameras caught two crimes at her Chinatown store last weekend. According to Chan, the suspect tried to take a cell phone case. Hours later, he returned to pepper spray the owner, who stopped him.
“He showed up behind me and turn around he was spraying me," she said.
Police have now arrested a 16 year old boy. On Thursday, members of the San Francisco District Attorney’s office stopped by the shop to talk about the case.
But rumors that San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was coming to the store also brought out some frustrated community members.
“The correct message is that we just want to keep Chinatown more safety," Chan said. "Everybody is happy to shopping here don’t feel like they would be robbed and dangerous."
"We want it to be inclusive because this is a diverse community and environment and we want everybody to be inclusive,” said Nancy Yu of the Chinatown Merchants United Association.
The protesters told NBC Bay Area that they want Boudin to do more to hold criminals accountable.
“It’s causing more chaos to our community and if we don’t speak up, it will continue. It’s like an epidemic," said Jeff Lee of the Wah Ying Club.
Boudin has repeatedly said prosecuting these crimes against the AAPI community are among his highest priorities. But he did not comment on Thursday’s gathering.
One merchant says the bottom line is figuring out how to make this a safe place again.