Chicagoans stand up against hate crimes targeting Asian Americans

"The crime wave against Chinese American community has increased the past year. People literally telling their family members to stay in and stay away."

Video Transcript

CATE CAUGUIRAN: Well Robbie, hundreds of people tuned in virtually to this anti-Asian hate crimes seminar. Many of them concerned over how local leaders and law enforcement will help keep our communities safe, and hoping that others acknowledge that crimes against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders is not something new.

It's been less than a week since the tragic deaths of Asian-American women at the hands of a white male shooter, sparking a nationwide debate over hate crimes against the greater Asian-American and Pacific Islander community.

JAN ZHENG: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, and even before that, the AAPI community has been a target of unfair blame, discrimination, and violence.

CATE CAUGUIRAN: Stop AAPI Hate reported at least 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, in the past year.

JAN ZHENG: The crime wave against Chinese-American community has increased the past year. People literally telling their family members to stay in and stay away.

TONI PRECKWINKLE: And we can't trivialize, we can't marginalize anybody. And we surely can't suggest that when someone goes out and murders people, most of whom are Asian-Americans, that this somehow isn't the hate crime.

CATE CAUGUIRAN: Today the Chinese-American Association of Greater Chicago hosted this seminar, moderated by our own Judy Hsu, with top city and state political and law enforcement leaders, in hopes to unveil what has been seen as overlooked issues within the AAPI community.

JAN ZHENG: The number of hate incidents reported represents only a small fraction of the numbers hate crimes that actually occurred. This shows how vulnerable Asian-Americans are to discrimination.

CATE CAUGUIRAN: Representatives from the Chicago Police Department and Cook County Sheriff's Office spoke on their existing and ongoing efforts to connect with the AAPI community to better encourage reporting of possible crimes, including breaking language barriers by hiring more native-speaking officers, and adding security cameras to different neighborhoods.

Other proposed solutions include better education in our schools and new state legislation denouncing racism and encouraging diversity. Reporting live downtown, Cate Cauguiran, ABC 7 Eyewitness News.