Dozens marched Sunday in a protest for Christian Hall, a 19-year-old Asian American fatally shot by Pennsylvania police last year.
A number of rallies against the increasing anti-Asian violence were also held across the country over the weekend.
What happened to Hall: Hall was shot by local police responding to reports of a distraught man on Dec. 30, 2020.
- He was found on the bridge at the Route 33 southbound overpass over I-80 in Hamilton Township.
- He was going through a mental health crisis, according to his family.
- He was found in possession of a firearm.
- Police said he complied with orders to drop the firearm, but then became uncooperative, retrieved the weapon and pointed it in the officers’ direction — causing them to fire at him.
- However, a video that surfaced later shows Hall actually had his hands raised when police fired seven times.
19yo Christian Hall needed HELP. On 12/30, he experienced a mental health crisis and @PAStatePolice were called to assist. Instead of helping Christian, deputies fatally shot him with his hands raised. This is NOT how cops should handle mental health crises! #JusticeForChristian pic.twitter.com/QVDggTq44u
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) February 3, 2021
Demand for justice: Dozens marched for Hall from Dansbury Park to the Monroe County Courthouse on Sunday.
- Jessica Brady, 16, organized the march. She knew Hall personally.
- “I was honestly waiting for somebody other than me, older than me, you know in a position of power to kind of take this on, and nobody was really doing anything,” Brady told WNEP. “So I kind of took it upon myself, you know, because I did know Mr. Hall and this was personal for me.”
- Hall’s parents attended the event. “Nothing will bring my son back, nothing, and it is a struggle every day,” his father Gareth said.
- “I miss my son so much. I love him so much but if his death is the catalyst for change, then so be it,” Hall’s mother Fe said. “Let his name be remembered. His name is Christian Hall.”
- “We come here to Pennsylvania to talk about the unjustified killing of Christian Hall and the fact that Americans still don’t want to talk about certain people being killed by police,” said Benjamin Crump, one of the family’s lawyers. Crump is also representing George Floyd’s family.
- A change.org petition demands the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office to hold an independent investigation on Hall’s death and the prosecution of responsible officers.
Christian Hall 19 was having an emotional crisis when @Pennsylvania state troopers shot him 7X while his arms were in air unarmed. DA, Christine must recuse himself and turn case over to @JoshShapiroPA @AttorneyCrump @TheRevAl @NAACP pic.twitter.com/7vBgbZw5Gc
— Karlin Chan 陳家齡 (@Karlin_C) March 15, 2021
Rallies against violence: Protests condemning the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes were held across the country on Saturday.
- In Los Angeles, the rally was held outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo and billed as a healing space to “meet, collaborate, and build with grassroots organizations doing direct work” in the local Asian American communities. Former LA County Chief Executive Officer Bill Fujioka attended and called on leaders to “take aggressive action” against the violence, according to LAist.
- Hundreds showed up in a rally at Boston Common in Massachusetts. The event also raised money for the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Community Fund, which helps victims of the ongoing violence, according to CBS Boston.
- A rally in San Jose, California also drew hundreds, according to KPIX 5. “I always thought to myself a significant fear, that one day, we too will be marching for Asian Pacific Islander lives, and that fear unfortunately has been realized,” California Assemblymember Evan Low told the crowd.
- Hundreds also gathered in Hing Hay Park in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, according to KOMO News. Among the attendees was Noriko Nasu, who fell victim to an attack last month.
- “I kind of wanted to put a face to the story,” said Nasu, who showed up wearing the same clothes the night she was attacked. “When you read about it in newspapers, it’s just a story. But when you can visualize, its thought is more powerful.”
“What we’ve discovered isn’t that we’ve just had a spike, but we’ve had a surge over the entire year last year with COVID-19 and with the president’s political rhetoric in the last administration,” Jeung told NPR.
Do you have a hate incident to report? Help us document the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans by going to STOP AAPI HATE to report an incident. Please stay safe out there.
Feature Images via @AttorneyCrump