We caught up with LeRonne Armstrong as he visited with independent shops along 9th Street.
Today I spent some time walking through Oakland’s Chinatown with @oaklandpoliceca’s new chief LeRonne Armstrong who visited w/merchants & community members.— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 11, 2021
It was nice to see many people stop him to express gratitude for catching the suspect who shoved a 91-year old (1/2) pic.twitter.com/EA5Hv9XwjF
to the ground & after dozens of reported incidents of violence toward the Asian American community here.— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 11, 2021
This man owns a flower shop & was robbed in broad daylight but says new patrols & safety measures have brought some customers back. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/YbFAoCazAc
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
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
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.
Just as I finished shooting my story with Oakland Police Chief Armstrong in Chinatown— the owner of Quickly on E 12th sent me this video of a woman getting robbed outside the store.— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 11, 2021
This is only about a mile from Chinatown.
She’s shaken but doing OK. pic.twitter.com/gzHWLYdVqe