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COVID-19 Brings Increase in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes


Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Increasing During Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought more than a virus into our nation. It also brought a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes in populous US cities, such as the Bay Area, New York, and Los Angeles. A report by California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reveals a nearly 150% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes across 16 major cities in 2020. The NYPD reports anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 1,900% in 2020.

Also eye-opening is that The Stop Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate reporting center was launched in response to the “alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to its website. This reporting database was established solely because of the increase in racial violence during the pandemic. Since launching in 2020, the Stop AAPI Hate center received over 2,800 firsthand reports of attacks and abuse against Asian-Americans during the pandemic, in comparison to roughly 100 anti-Asian hate crime reports in the previous years.

Although about 40% of the center’s reported incidents occurred in California, according to the co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, states like New York are also seeing alarming rates of hate crime incidents against Asian Americans. For instance:

A person slashed a Filipino man in the face with a boxcutter on a subway in New York City. Another NYC man was stabbed in the back with an unknown object. In Bergen County, a teen was allegedly harassed based on her race.

As a result, police agencies throughout the country are on high-alert for hate crime incidents.

What Is a Hate Crime?

Hate crimes are criminal acts committed, fully or partially, due to one or more of the actual or perceived characteristics of the victim. These characteristics include:

  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • The person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics

Offenses such as murder, assault, battery, vandalism, and arson can be considered hate crimes if they’re fueled by the alleged victim’s actual or perceived characteristics. If these characteristics are not the motive for committing a crime, then it can’t be charged as a hate crime.

With this in mind, if you are facing criminal charges in Bergen County, you must retain expert legal counsel right away. Hiring a lawyer may help you avoid getting hate crime charges added on top of your current criminal charges, which could benefit you in the long-run. Society tends to outcast and humiliate suspected xenophobic, so as you can imagine, a hate crime conviction - let alone a charge - can do some serious damage.

Fight to preserve your freedom and good name with the help of the Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC. Contact us at (201) 574-7919 to get started!

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