Oakland police chief visits Chinatown shops, emphasizes need for 'greater presence' after attacks, crime

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- After a series of violent attacks on the Asian American community in Oakland's Chinatown, the newly-appointed chief of police is meeting with merchants and the public.

We caught up with LeRonne Armstrong as he visited with independent shops along 9th Street.

I asked him why he felt the need to personally make this visit.

"The fear we've seen in the last month or so, we as a department understand we need to have a greater presence in Chinatown, " Armstrong said.

RELATED: Community groups denounce violence toward Asian Americans in Bay Area and beyond

That fear comes from countless attacks on the Asian American community in recent weeks. The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce reports more than 20 incidents of robbery or assault on merchants and customers in a 14-day period.

Horrific surveillance shows a 91-year-old man knocked to the ground while others show shopkeepers assaulted and robbed.

VIDEO: Shocking video shows 91-year-old man senselessly pushed to ground in Oakland's Chinatown
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Shocking new video coming out of Oakland's Chinatown showing a man senselessly pushed to the ground has the community on high alert.

One of those victims is Kenneth Lam who was seen with his wife on surveillance getting robbed at their flower shop. Today Lam expressed his gratitude for Oakland Police.

"Thank you guys for stepping up you guys really do strep up and protecting us and we feel much. Much safer," Lam said.

During our time with Chief Armstrong it was clear community members also felt heard. Many, stopping him in the streets to express their gratitude after the suspect involved in the 91-year-old's assault was arrested.

RELATED: Actors Daniel Dae Kim, Daniel Wu discuss violent crimes against Asian Americans in Bay Area
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East Bay native Daniel Wu and "Hawaii Five-O" star Daniel Dae Kim say more needs to be done to stop the string of violent crimes against Asian-Americans in Oakland's Chinatown and across the U.S.

Other efforts from the public include a grassroots patrol led by rapper China Mac, to the Goliath security team, who were funded by a GoFundMe campaign founded by community members.

None could have been made possible, without victims in this community speaking out.

"The community need to know who to contact when something happens we want to reassure them when an incident happens in Chinatown we need to know about it. And we want to quickly respond and apprehend the person responsible" Armstrong said.

Community members and the police agree there is much work to be done. On the same day as our visit, a local boba shop released video of a woman getting mugged outside of the store less than one mile from Chinatown.
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