With anti-Asian crimes on the rise across the country, New York City is launching a campaign to help combat hate in the five boroughs; CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story.
DANA TYLER: With anti-Asian crimes on the rise across the country, New York City is launching a campaign to help combat hate in the five boroughs. CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has tonight's story.
MARCIA KRAMER: Wellington Chen came to New York from Hong Kong in the 1970s, but he was never afraid to walk the streets near his Flushing home until now.
- Last Friday night, a few blocks away from here, an Asian man like me just walking out to the door from a few doors from his house, and he got struck on the floor. The next thing, he woke up with broken teeth and a gash across his forehead.
MARCIA KRAMER: And he's not alone in worrying about his safety.
AUDREY LEUNG: I worry about my family, because they're elderly. They don't speak a lot of good English. Nobody's out there to protect them.
MARCIA KRAMER: Hate crimes against Asian-Americans are on the rise. More than 3,000 anti-Asian coronaviruses hate crimes last year nationwide. In New York City last year, there were 29, 24 motivated by COVID-19. That's prompted Mayor De Blasio to move to stop Asian hate crime campaign. The mayor pinning some of the blame on former President Trump.
BILL DE BLASIO: Just the absence of the negative racist voice of Donald Trump in our daily discourse is beginning the process of healing. But the residue, as you indicated-- the residue of that state-sponsored hatred is still very strong.
MARCIA KRAMER: The mayor called for serious consequences. I pressed him to explain, since his own police commissioner has railed against bail reform measures that he says treat people too leniently.
BILL DE BLASIO: The consequences have to be strong enough for people to get the message that is absolutely unacceptable. Sometimes it is a financial penalty. But when you're talking about violence, obviously jail time is what makes the impact.
MARCIA KRAMER: Many in the Asian community tell me hate crimes are underreported. The Manhattan district attorney prosecuted nine Asian hate crime cases last year, the most ever. The year before, there were none. In Flushing, Queens, or Marcia Kramer, CBS 2 News.