Fmr. Chief of Det. Boyce questions DA after hate crime charges dropped

Sources say the 36-year-old stabbed in his back in Chinatown last week with an 8-inch-kitchen knife is not likely to survive but is still fighting for his life.

Video Transcript

- This rash of hate crimes against Asian-Americans, it's not just here in New York, but it's nationwide. And tonight a Special Report on the avalanche of hate crimes against Asians, what cops are doing about it to help stop it, and how Asian-Americans themselves are reacting, doing something they have not done before, talking publicly about the discrimination they have faced for years. Eyewitness News Reporter CeFaan Kim, one of the reporters on this ABC special. He's here now live in Chinatown. CeFaan.

CEFAAN KIM: Although the wave of violent, unprovoked attacks against Asian-Americans may end up with a man losing his life. Sources say the 36-year-old man stabbed in his back last week in Chinatown with an 8-inch-kitchen knife is probably not going to make it, still fighting for his life. Meanwhile, community leaders are outraged after the Manhattan DA dropped a second degree attempted murder as a hate crime charge just a day after it was filed.

There was no evidence the suspect saw his victims face, the DA says, because he was wearing a mask and hat. But the suspect allegedly admitted to investigators that he quote "didn't like the way he looked at me." Well, we spoke one-on-one with former NYPD Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce, and he had some choice words for the DA.

ROBERT BOYCE: Clearly, he saw his face. Clearly, he saw that he was an Asian male, and then he stabbed him anyway. This should have been kept a hate crime. I can't fathom why, within one day, that changed.

CEFAAN KIM: Now a spokesperson for the Manhattan DA, in a statement, says that "The defendant's statement that he didn't like the way the victim looked at him does not establish a hate crime when the evidence to date shows that he ran up to the victim from behind and may have actually never seen his face."

Of course, as you just heard, Chief Boyce thinks that goes against common logic. In fact, he goes on to say he believes in any unprovoked attack absent any other obvious motive, he says he would charge that as a hate crime. Now coming up tonight at 8:00, on ABC News Live we'll be joined with the special with Jeremy Lin, actor Daniel Dae Kim, Olivia Munn. It'll be a thoughtful discussion. We hope you join us.

Reporting live in lower Manhattan, CeFaan Kim, Channel 7 Eyewitness News.

- Wow, I can't wait to see that, CeFaan. Such important work that the reporters are doing, that police are trying to do to stop this hate. Again, it's at 8 o'clock tonight, streaming on our ABC News live, New York.

Also, we hosted a special Town Hall event today with local experts answering your questions. If you missed it today, no worries. We're going to host the entire event on our streaming platforms. We'll do that tonight.