NYC Advocates Call For More Support For Asian Community

Advocates in New York City are calling for more support for the Asian community amidst a spike in hate crimes; CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports.

Video Transcript

DICK BRENNAN: Advocates are calling for more support for the Asian community amidst a spike in hate crimes.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: And tonight, a peace vigil is being held at Union Square. And that's where we find CBS 2's Andrea Grymes with more there. Andrea.

ANDREA GRYMES: Well, Natalie and Dick, the shootings in Georgia this week are really top of mind for so many in the Asian community, even as police continue to investigate the motive. But you're right. Here in Union Square at 6:00, a peace vigil for victims of Asian hate will take place. They're getting ready for it now. One advocacy group says there were nearly 3,800 hate incidents across the country in the last year, from verbal harassment to physical attacks.

AVA CHIN: It makes me sad. It makes me angry.

ANDREA GRYMES: Ava Chin's family has lived in Chinatown for 100 years. The lifelong resident says she's now nervous to walk around.

AVA CHIN: I'm not the only one. I have many friends who are scared, they're living in fear. They don't want to leave the house.

ANDREA GRYMES: It comes amid a huge spike in reported anti-Asian incidents across the country during the pandemic. Plus the shootings in Atlanta this week, where six of the eight murdered victims were Asian. Investigators say the suspect claimed the attacks were not racially motivated, but police have not ruled out whether the killings were hate crimes. Here in New York, the NYPD commissioner says so far this year, there have been 10 suspected anti-Asian hate crimes. But he and the mayor believe that number is higher, that many go unreported.

BILL DE BLASIO: This is a horrifying moment for Asian-Americans. And we need everyone to report everything they see so that we can evaluate and act on it and stop the perpetrators.

ANDREA GRYMES: Today, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, backed by several community groups, denounced anti-Asian violence. They're calling for the restoration of previously cut funding for the city's Hate Violence Prevention Initiative.

JUMAANE WILLIAMS: The message is the way to combat hate is to fund the folks behind me, who have experience in these communities, have experience pushing back on hate.

JO-ANN YOO: During this time of so much violence and hatred directed at the Asian-American community, one way to prevent tragedies before it starts, as Jumaane said, we need support. We need money. We need lots of money with lots of zeroes.

ANDREA GRYMES: And again, this vigil is expected to begin in about 20 minutes here in Union Square. But there are several vigils planned for throughout the weekend across the city. Reporting live in Union Square, Andrea Grymes, CBS 2 News.

DICK BRENNAN: All right, Andrea, thank you.