Attacks on Asian Americans spike across U.S. amid pandemic

Hate crimes against Asian Americans have surged since the start of the pandemic. Some blame former President Trump's rhetoric for the increase. Jamie Yuccas reports.

Video Transcript

NORAH O'DONNELL: Tonight CBS News is investigating the troubling rise in anti-Asian attacks. Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. We get more now on this from CBS's Jamie Yuccas.

JAMIE YUCCAS: The owner at this butcher shop in Sacramento says she's frightened after security cameras captured a man tossing a dead cat in her parking lot.

- You feel like this is a hate crime?

- Of course. There's really no doubt about it.

JAMIE YUCCAS: More than 3,000 hate incidents directed at Asian-Americans nationwide have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic, according to one advocacy group. A 91-year-old Asian man in Oakland was thrown to the ground. In New York City, an Asian-American woman was violently assaulted in broad daylight. And this violent attack on 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, a Thai-American who later died from his injuries.

DONALD TRUMP: With the China virus--

JAMIE YUCCAS: Some blame the rise of anti-Asian-American discrimination on the former president's rhetoric.


TAM NGUYEN: Watching this violence against Asian-Americans is just so upsetting.

JAMIE YUCCAS: Tam Nguyen is part of a community organization that's working to raise awareness about anti-Asian hate crimes. There's also a Twitter campaign.

TAM NGUYEN: Whether it's speaking up, whether it's sharing, or whether it's lending a hand and reaching out to your Asian-American friends.

JAMIE YUCCAS: The victims also include Air Force vet Denny Kim, assaulted last week in Los Angeles.

DENNY KIM: It's absolutely senseless, and it really breaks my heart.

JAMIE YUCCAS: This week, California's governor signed a bill into law that will devote nearly a million and a half dollars tracking anti-Asian hate crimes. Lawmakers hope the information gathered will ultimately lead to solutions that will make communities safer. Norah.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Jamie Yuccas, thank you so much.