The New York City Police Department is set to announce its formation of an Asian hate crime task force to investigate the rise of attacks against people of Asian descent since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison will make an announcement on the formation of the task force later Tuesday afternoon. The latest incidents include an 89-year-old woman who was slapped and had her shirt set on fire last month in Brooklyn and another woman who was the subject of verbal anti-Asian sentiments on the subway.
Police have not said whether the attack against the elderly woman in Brooklyn is being investigated as a hate crime and they are still searching for the suspects. The victim wasn't seriously injured in the attack.
The incident sparked outrage in the Bensonhurst community as well as a march against violence. Rapper China Mac and actor William Lex Ham co-organized the rally earlier this month to call on the NYPD to investigate the July 14 incident as a hate crime.
In another incident last month, a man’s angry, racist rant following a minor traffic accident in Brooklyn was caught on camera. The man repeatedly called Xian Tang and others standing by "inbreds." After a series of curses and slurs, the man made a racist gesture, mocking Tang's eyes while saying "you all look like this."
The encounters are part of more than 2,300 racist incidents between late March and mid-July in the U.S., including 316 reports in New York, according to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council.
Asian American Bar Association of New York has put together resources in reporting hate crimes. Click here for more information.