A new mural honoring Vicha Ratanapakdee, the elderly Thai immigrant who was killed after being pushed to the ground earlier this year, was unveiled in San Francisco’s Chinatown on Sunday.
The incident: Ratanapakdee, 84, was walking along Anza Vista and Fortuna Avenues on Jan. 28 when a teenager shoved him for no apparent reason. The attack, which occurred in broad daylight, was captured on surveillance video.
— Evan Sernoffsky (@EvanSernoffsky) February 1, 2021
- Ratanapakdee reportedly sustained life-threatening injuries from the incident. He died at a hospital two days later.
- The suspect, 19-year-old Antoine Watson, was arrested the same day along with a female accomplice. The latter was soon released due to an absence of evidence, while Watson pleaded not guilty to murder and elder abuse charges.
- Ratanapakdee’s death became a catalyst for the Stop Asian Hate movement. Many social media users changed their profile pictures into an illustration of his image, which was created by Los Angeles-based designer Jonathan D. Chang.
The crowd chanting “Justice for Vicha” pic.twitter.com/WvQqzEiskC
— Han Li 李晗 (@lihanlihan) August 30, 2021
The mural: Community leader Forrest Liu reportedly organized the unveiling of Sunday’s mural in Chinatown. Among the attendees were San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Ratanapakdee’s family and community members.
- “You know, grandpa Vicha and his face has become a symbol for the national ‘Stop Asian Hate’ movement,” Liu told NBC Bay Area. “And we’re going to keep his story alive.”
- The mural was created by artists Thitiwat Phromratanapongse and Sarah Siskin. It is located at Grant Avenue and California Street.
- Ratanapakdee’s two children, Monthanus and Pasama, set up a new GoFundMe page in hopes of raising funds for their legal fight, education of his grandchildren, and grief counseling.
In July, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors introduced a resolution to rename a street after Ratanapakdee.