Oakland men to be charged with murder for attack

April 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two young men under arrest for beating a man to death in Oakland will be charged with murder, but not a hate crime. The victim was Chinese; the suspects also attacked his son, apparently for no reason. The victim's widow, however, says she does not harbor any ill feelings towards them.

Attending the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce dinner was an expression of strength by the widow and son of Tian Sheng Yu who died on Tuesday after a fatal beating.

"You walk down the street and someone punches you and then attacks you, nobody could expect that," said the victim's son Jin Cheng Yu.

Lavonte Drummer and Dominic Davis will face murder charges, but will not be charged with a hate crime.

"In this particular case, we have not seen any evidence that would support it was a hate crime," said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.

Still, the recent crimes against Asians in the Bay Area has many of them questioning the motives. On Tuesday in Richmond police say two teens robbed an elderly Asian couple at gunpoint in broad daylight.

"I think Asians are one of the people being targeted. I don't think necessarily because they're Asian," said Richmond police Sgt. Michael Wang.

Police say a lot of Asian victims are reluctant to report crimes and the criminals know this. In fact, the cultural teachings of many Asians tend to play against them on the streets of America.

"They don't want to cause any problems, don't want to make any noise, they go off on their own way. They mind their own business. It's the nature of the Asians," said executive director of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce Jennie Ong.

And that can be perceived as a weakness.

Tian Sheng Yu's widow says she's aware of this and that's why she and her son will be in court on Thursday when her husband's accused killers are formally charged with murder.


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