San Diego law enforcement, community leaders discuss anti-Asian hate

Between 2017 and 2019, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office had not been referred by local law enforcement agencies for alleged anti-Asian hate crimes, District Attorney Summer Stephan said: I will. Virtual Forum Wednesday Night..

However, in 2020, law enforcement agencies introduced to Stephan’s office three suspected anti-Asia hate crimes that her agent is currently prosecuting for felony.

“We are asked,’Did those crimes focus on terrible and false accusations against COVID-19 and our community?'” Stephan said during the forum. “And I can’t answer that question specifically about these (three) cases pending, but I safely speculate that the accusations of COVID-19 are a big part of what we see. Yes, that false story has been a big part of the anti-Asia hate climb. “

It was a trend The FBI and federal prosecutors foresaw a year ago, Near the beginning of a pandemic that began in Wuhan, China. Robert Brewer, then federal prosecutor of Southern California, promised in April last year that he would “protect vulnerable communities from racist scapegoats and alien exclusions that could lead to criminal activity.” As part of that plan, Brewer appointed one of his assistants as the local COVID-19 Civil Rights Coordinator.

Stephan said the majority of hate crimes still target black and Hispanic people. In 2019, blacks are the target of 46.5% of all racially-based hate crimes, Hispanics are the target of 21%, and Asians and Pacific Islands are the target of racially-based hate crimes in California in 2019. Was the target of 8.2%.

But Stefan expects a race-based percentage Hate crimes targeting members of the Asian Pacific Islands Last year’s data will not be available until July, but will grow in 2020.

The first Wednesday forum of the Stop Asian Hate series, hosted by the San Diego Union-Tribune and moderated by the Asian Pacific American initiative JoAnn Fields, will define what constitutes a hate crime and discuss potential policy changes. I focused on it. Fields is also a member of UT’s Community Advisory Board.

Leonard Trin, who heads the district attorney’s hate crime unit, is best prosecuted for such crimes, as he must prove that the crime was not only committed, but that it was motivated by hatred. He said it was difficult.

He said hate crimes should always be reported to law enforcement agencies, as do hate incidents. This was described by Stephan as an incident fueled by hatred that did not reach the level of crime.

Trinh said it was important to document what was said, such as the possibility of racial or homophobic slur, when the crime was committed. “Often the best sign that something is a hate crime is the word the suspect or defendant uses while committing a crime.”

The forum touched on what hate crimes are, but some panelists also used them as an opportunity to bring together, uplift and empower communities of Asian Pacific Islands descent.

Julia Legaspi is a transgender small business owner. She also participates in the Sheriff’s Advisory Board. “If we’re not sitting at the table, we’re on the menu,” she said.

Native Hawaiian community leader Moana Cabiles encouraged “people to put themselves there.”

“Rather than waiting to be invited to the table, you have to lean forward and bring your own chair,” says Cabiles.

Captain Rudy Thai and Lieutenant Al Ambit of the San Diego Police also participated in the panel.

However, while the forum provided a definition of what hate crimes are, few answers were given on how to prevent hate crimes at the micro level.

Panelists were silent when members of the community asked how members of the Asian Pacific Islands community could protect themselves while on the go.

The second virtual forum in the “Stop Asian Hate” series is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21st, at 5:30 pm. To view the forum, go to. sandiegouniontribune.com/uttoday For live streams. To ask the panelists, please visit UT’s Facebook page.

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