NYC Commission On Human Rights Urging New Yorkers To Step Up If They Witness Attacks

The effort follows a horrible assault on a 65-year-old woman who was heading to church in Hell's Kitchen. CBS2's Christina Fan reports.

Video Transcript

- The New York City Commission on Human Rights is now asking New Yorkers to step up if they witness any anti-Asian attacks.

- It follows that horrible assault this week in Manhattan as a 65-year-old woman was heading to church. CBS 2's Christina Fan has more.

CHRISTINA FAN: Distraught New Yorkers hung these posters of Asian-American faces across Hell's Kitchen, steps away from one of the city's latest hate fueled assaults. They are not only upset with the brutal beating of Vilma Kari, but equally hurt by the apathy from witnesses who watched on.

LARA GREGORY: The doors were closed on her, even as she lay there hurt. That is not the city that we know.

CHRISTINA FAN: The New York City Commission on Human Rights urged bystanders to become upstanders. Volunteers walked along 9th Avenue Friday, passing out fliers, asking businesses to speak up if they witness hate. They say silence begets violence.

CARMELYN MALALIS: I think in times like this, it is very important that there are public, visible reminders that people will not tolerate racism. According to the city agency, reports of discrimination, bias and harassment against Asian-Americans increased seven-fold in the last year. In 2020, there were 205 incidents compared to just 30 the year before.

ELIZABETH OUYANG: Hate persists when good people, when good people stand by and do nothing.

CHRISTINA FAN: Even if you can't intervene, community leaders say you can distract, delegate, document, delay or direct. Many businesses who have since put up signs of solidarity promise to stand up.

FELIX ATLASMAN: It has to be a community effort. We have to show that this kind of situation is uncalled for.

CHRISTINA FAN: The Commission on Human Rights enforces the anti-discrimination and harassment protections in the city, but says the laws are limited if the people of the city don't stand behind them. In Hell's Kitchen, Christina Fan, CBS 2 News.