Rallies planned after violent attacks in Bay Area

April 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The recent string of violent attacks against Asians is raising concern that they're becoming the victims of hate crimes. Several news conferences and rallies are planned for this week. Sunday night, a local radio talk show host tackled the topic.

Sunday night's forum guests included San Francisco's police chief and Oakland's deputy police chief who pointed out that the Good Samaritans who helped in two of the incidents were African American. But members of the Asian community say the issue goes deeper than that.

"Citizens are upset. So we're going to talk about it tonight right here on Street Soldiers," said KMEL radio talk show host Dr. Joe Marshall.

The accusations that black teens are targeting Asian victims stems from three specific incidents. It boiled over, last week, after two black teens were arrested for the unprovoked beating death of 59-year-old, Tian Sheng Yu, in Oakland.

"This is a whole series of ugly stuff," said Dr. Joe Marshall.

In March, a group of black teens threw a 57-year-old Asian woman off a Muni platform injuring her badly. And before that, five black teens were arrested for beating an 83-year-old Asian man to death in the Bayview District.

"There really is no evidence that these are hate crimes that these are racially motivated crimes," said SF Police Chief George Gascone.

Gascone says these are simply crimes of opportunity.

"If many folks in the Chinese American community heard the comments from the two chiefs, people would be even more angry then they already are," said Chinese for Affirmative Action Executive Director Vincent Pan.

Pan says it is about race -- through cultural differences, language and poverty.

"They're experiencing it through the lens that they're experiencing it through. And I think what they want to do is be validated and then come together," said Pan.

Oakland police say they're monitoring blogs and websites and gathering alarming messages.

"Over 1,400 posts with a lot of hateful speech which has raised us up at the PD as well as the community," said Oakland Dep. Chief Jeff Israel.

Monday, the NAACP, and the Officers for Justice, a predominantly African American group, will hold a 10 a.m. press conference.

San Francisco's mayor is also calling a 1:30 meeting and press conference at city hall. And on Tuesday, a rally, organized by mostly Asian community leaders, will be held at city hall at 2 pm.


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