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Vandalism of second Gandhi statue in New York City prompts calls for hate crime charges

  • A Mahatma Gandhi statue outside a Hindu temple in South Richmond Hill in Queens, New York, was vandalized on Aug. 3.
  • The toppled-over statue saw its arm cracked and its hand broken into pieces.
  • Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Hindu American elected for office in New York state, held a press conference on Tuesday to denounce the incident, which she described as a hate crime against the Hindu community.
  • However, Jagpreet Singh, political director at Desis Rising Up and Moving, a local group focused on low-wage South Asians, cautioned against calling the incident a hate crime, citing possible political motivations or differences within the Indian community.
  • The incident follows a similar vandalism against a Gandhi statue in Union Square in February.

Nearly six months after a life-sized Mahatma Gandhi statue was vandalized in New York City’s Union Square, another in South Richmond Hill suffered a similar fate last week, according to reports.

The incident occurred on Aug. 3 and involved the Gandhi statue outside the Shri Tulsi Mandir, a Hindu temple located at 103-24 111th St. Photos released by Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar — the first Hindu American elected for office in New York state — show the statue toppled over, its arm cracked and hand broken into pieces.

BTS to meet President Biden at White House to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes

BTS Biden
  • BTS will meet with President Biden at the White House on Tuesday, May 31, to talk about Asian inclusion, representation and the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes.
  • The upcoming meeting will take place on the last day of AAPI Heritage Month, marking the conclusion of the White House’s initiatives toward the celebration.
  • BTS have been outspoken about anti-Asian hate and previously used their platform to condemn the violence and discrimination.

K-pop supergroup BTS will meet President Biden at the White House on Tuesday, May 31, to “discuss Asian inclusion and representation” and “address anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination,” rounding out Biden’s AAPI Heritage Month initiatives.

“President Biden has previously spoken about his commitment to combating the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes,” a statement from the White House reads. “President Biden and BTS will also discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion and BTS’ platform as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world.” 

Cafe Maddy Cab: Program that pays cab fares for NYC AAPIs vulnerable to hate crimes relaunches

cafe Maddy cab
  • Food influencer Madeline Park relaunched her Cafe Maddy Cab program on Sunday in response to the rising rate of anti-Asian hate crimes in her home city of New York.
  • “Every single time I see a headline or a video footage of [a crime], I feel a very visceral fear that it could've been me. Or my parents. Or grandparents. This is why I started the initiative in the first place,” Park tells NextShark.
  • Last year, with the help of 25 volunteers and 4,016 donors, Cafe Maddy Cab raised over $250,000 to pay for cab fares for people who are at risk of anti-Asian hate crimes, including elderly populations, women and LGBTQ-plus individuals.

Food influencer Madeline Park relaunched her Cafe Maddy Cab program on Sunday to raise funds for anti-Asian hate crime prevention.

In April 2021, the Korean American content creator developed Cafe Maddy Cab on Instagram to pay for cab fares for people who were at risk of being targeted by anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City, including seniors, women and LGBTQ-plus individuals. With a team of 25 volunteers and in collaboration with former tech company Stimulus, they raised $100,00 overnight and another $150,000 over the next three months from 4,016 donors. Cafe Maddy Cab also received support from Lyft and Uber to pay for 7,842 cab fares. 

Head of NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force reassigned amid complaints about treatment of Asian victims

Jessica Corey
  • Jessica Corey, head of the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, was reassigned on Wednesday.
  • The move came a day after an alleged incident involving mistreatment of an Asian American attack victim was brought to the attention of Mayor Eric Adams.
  • In response, Adams said he does not want a leader who starts an investigation by ruling out the possibility of a hate crime.
  • In a statement, the NYPD claimed that the reassignment had nothing to do with the incident, saying it was just part of a routine reshuffling.

Amid heightened public scrutiny over New York’s public safety measures, in part arising from persistent attacks on Asian Americans, Inspector Jessica Corey, head of the local Hate Crimes Task Force, was reportedly reassigned on Wednesday.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) reportedly described the move, which coincides with the reassignment of Deputy Inspector Michael King, head of the Special Victims Division, as part of a routine reshuffling; however, it also comes a day after a Korean American victim accused Corey of mishandling her case.

Man charged with hate crimes for unprovoked attack on Asian boba tea shop owner in Las Vegas

  • The victim, who owns Cloud Tea near Buffalo and Flamingo Roads, was working when the suspect allegedly entered and began yelling anti-Asian slurs.
  • The suspect, identified as Anthony Joseph Dishari, allegedly physically attacked the victim and left him unconscious with serious injuries.
  • Dishari is facing multiple charges with hate crime enhancements.

An Asian business owner in Las Vegas reportedly wound up in a hospital bed with no recollection of prior events after falling victim to an unprovoked attack in his shop last week.

The victim was working at the back of Cloud Tea near Buffalo and Flamingo Roads when the suspect allegedly entered the business yelling anti-Asian slurs.

#StopAAPIHate report: 1 in 5 AAPIs experienced a hate incident over the past year

Stop AAPI Hate national report

Attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have steadily increased through the third quarter of the year, according to the latest national report by Stop AAPI Hate (SAH).

Key findings: A total of 10,370 hate incidents were reported to SAH between March 19, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021. This marks a surge of 1,289 new cases from the 9,081 incidents reported as of June 30, 2021.

Anti-Asian hate incidents spike by 1,800% in Orange County

Orange County hate spike

Anti-Asian hate incidents — attacks that do not rise to the level of a hate crime — have increased in 2020 by a whopping 1,800% in California’s Orange County, according to a new report from the nonprofit Orange County Human Relations Commission.

Driving the surge: For the past decade, the county logged only four to five incidents against Asian Americans each year, according to Nhi Nguyen, the commission’s hate crime prevention coordinator. However, 2020 saw a total of 76 incidents against the community, a surge attributed to the growth of anti-Asian sentiment around COVID-19.

Canada’s ‘Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital’ launches very first investigation into rising incidents

British Columbia Stop Asian Hate

The Canadian province of British Columbia is launching its first-ever public inquiry on the surge of anti-Asian incidents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What to know: The city of Vancouver reported more anti-Asian hate crimes than 10 of the most populous U.S. cities combined in 2020. For this reason, the city has been infamously dubbed the “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital of North America.”

Asian population grows 35.5%, fastest rising group according to US Census

Asian population increases in the U.S.

The Asian population in the U.S. rose by 35.5% in the past decade, registering the fastest growth among ethnic groups in the country, recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed.

Fastest growth in the U.S.: According to the new data released Thursday, people identifying as “Asian” and those who ticked boxes as “Asian” along with another race group now account for 7.2 % of the total U.S. population, NBC News reports.