The Sacramento police have reported an alarming increase of crimes targeting Asian Americans, according to the Sacramento Bee. Officials revealed that the crimes ranged from home invasions to robberies and carjackings.
Police spokesperson Eddie Macaulay stated that some districts have reported a 25% increase in crime targeting Asian Americans while others report an 8% increase; one district claimed a 40% decrease in crime targeting this demographic, but this number is somewhat marred after authorities revealed a 25% rise in violent crime in this district from 2015 to 2016.
Frustrated with the perceived lack of attention to the crimes led Asian communities to create their own armed patrols, such as the Asian American Public Safety Service Center, in an attempt to address the situation. Organized through WeChat, the Center has reached out to National Rifle Association for proper firearm training — something that the police department is advising against.
“The problem is our community is getting robbed, burglarized, they’re getting their purses snatched, folks are coming into their house when they’re at home and beating them up, taking money, taking jewelry, somehow they know that these families have it in their house and going after them,” said Stephanie Nguyen, executive director of the Asian Resources Community Center in Sacramento. “We get a lot of clients coming through our door telling us the things that have happened to them but they’re never vocal about it. They share with us the story in confidence.”
Seeing that action must be taken, the Sacramento Police Department have planned a public hearing on Wednesday night that will address the concerns of the community. State authorities will utilize their bilingual officers to deliver their message to foreign language broadcast media as well.
“It’s a way we thought the department folks could reach out to a part of the community that may not necessarily be reached otherwise,” Macaulay explained. Authorities are encouraging locals to look after themselves and immediately dial 911 if they see anyone suspicious — something that many Asian Americans believe won’t help, as they’ve criticized officers for being slow to respond to past calls.
“The point is, we hope the police [will] respond fast. That’s all we want,” said Tom Phong, a community leader. “The bottom line is that we want peace. Last year and this year are bad years for Sacramento. I do not want Asian Americans to move out of Sacramento.”
A previous report has suggested that some Asian American victims opted to remain silent since police often fail to identify them and report crimes against them. Statistics also revealed that robberies aren’t the only types of crimes that are victimizing Asian Americans, as crimes motivated by hate towards Asians is a recurring issue as well.
“This isn’t new, I think it’s just elevated a little bit more,” Nguyen continued. “I think it’s because in our community we’ve been so silent all the time. Things like this had to happen, it’s just never been reported. It makes me happy to hear that our community is finally going forward and actually making noise, saying things, asking, and demanding our leadership to be able to provide more resources and services to our community.
“I think this is just the first step in getting our community — our immigrant and refugee community — to understand that, unless your voice is being heard, things are not going to change.”
Feature Image via Sacramento Bee