Asian American, Pacific Islander community leaders in LA urge action against hate crimes

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One of the ugly trends during the pandemic has been the increase in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. There have been cases caught on video of physical and verbal assaults.

"The number of hate incidents in this country continues to grow both in numbers as well as severity," said Connie Chung Joe with the group Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, from 2019 to 2020, hate crimes against Asian Americans in Los Angeles more than doubled, from seven in 2019 to 15 in 2020.

Overall hate crime during the same period went up 9%. Advocacy groups gathered near downtown L.A. Friday calling for action to prevent crimes.

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They point out it's something all of us can do by watching out for one another.

"I think it's about educating ourselves about each other, including each other in our community and understanding that we are here," said Nancy Yap with the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment. "We've been here and we're part of our neighborhoods. "

The advocates say they want the next state attorney general to be a member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

They're also offering resources such as mental health and legal help to hate crime victims.

One of the things the group suggested we all do is simply reach out and get to know one another.

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