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Hundreds gather in Seattle to protest attacks on Asian Americans

Hundreds gather in Seattle to protest attacks on Asian Americans
© JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of people gathered in Seattle on Saturday to protest violence against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A crowd gathered in Hing Hay Park in the Chinatown-International District of Seattle for a rally and march condemning attacks against Asian Americans, including elderly members of the community, the Seattle Times reported.  

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke (D), the country’s first Asian American governor, spoke at the rally and called for an end to violence against Asian American communities.

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“This violence against Asian Americans, and especially our elderly, has got to stop,” Locke said. “We cannot scapegoat, blame Asian Americans for this virus. Hate is a virus.”

At the event, King County Executive Dow Constantine, who is married to a Japanese American woman, declared that he will propose “substantial funding” for the education and publicity “to address racially based hate and bias in our community” in the upcoming budget.

Noriko Nasu, a Japanese American teacher who was attacked along with her boyfriend close to Hing Hay Park last month, addressed the demonstrators wearing the same outfit she wore during the assault. 

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She called on authorities to “take hate crime more seriously and take more action,” according to Seattle station KOMO 4 TV

"I don’t think the statute or the law is well-written to protect the people and I want hate crime charges to be heavier,” she said. 

 

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg wrote last week that the two counts of felony assault against the suspect in the case, Sean Holdip, would lead to a longer punishment of 12 to 14 months than a hate crime charge. He noted that the current evidence collected did not seem to be enough to prove a hate crime. 

“We are ethically bound to only bring cases that we believe can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” he wrote. “We’re open to changing the charge if additional evidence is found or if the suspect makes additional statements.

The rally came as a report released last week concluded that Asian Americans saw a 150 percent increase in attacks in 2020. 

President BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE denounced the rise in violence against Asian Americans in an address last week saying, “It’s wrong, it’s un-American and it must stop.”