Chinatown stabbing: Asian-Americans demand for alleged stabber to be charged with hate crime

A rally was held outside the Manhattan District Attorney's Office Monday to demand the man charged in the stabbing of an Asian man in Chinatown be prosecuted as a hate crime.

Video Transcript

- --this half hour with a rally that's underway, calling for a suspected attacker to face hate crime charges in a stabbing last month in Chinatown. The violent encounter among the recent wave of attacks targeting Asian people. Eyewitness News reporter, CeFaan Kim, live in lower Manhattan with the very latest. CeFaan.

CEFAAN KIM: Well, David and Shirleen, "walking while Asian," they say it's a risk now after that Asian man was critically stabbed in his back while walking home from work in Chinatown last Thursday night. And now more than a half a dozen candidates for city council and community leaders are demanding the Manhattan DA prosecute this case as a hate crime. Friday, the NYPD added the hate crime charge, attempted murder as a hate crime, because the suspect had punched an Asian man in Brooklyn in January. It was an unprovoked attack.

A day later, though, the Manhattan DA dropped the hate crime charge, saying there was no evidence the suspect saw his victim's face because he was wearing a mask and a hat. But the suspect told cops that he stabbed his victim in his back because he quote, "didn't like the way he looked at me." Now community leaders are saying if the suspect admitted the victim made eye contact, then, at least, he saw his eyes and could tell he was Asian.

- He admitted that he did not like the way he looked at him. So there is no reason why the DA would drop the charges instead of filing it as a hate crime.

CEFAAN KIM: Now the mayor, meanwhile, was asked today about all of these recent attacks against Asian-Americans, if some of these incidents, he was asked, have more to do with mental health or crimes of opportunity and if adding hate crimes charges is adding to racial tensions. He had this to say.

BILL DE BLASIO: So, no, we can't prejudge each incident. We need the facts. But that said, there is clearly a horrible trend right now-- a disgusting trend-- in this city and in this nation of attacks on Asian-Americans, most horribly what we saw in San Francisco, where a man was killed just walking down the street. No provocation, no reason. Just killed because he was Asian-American.