Hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders in San Francisco spiked more than 500% in 2021

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Hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders in San Francisco spiked more than 500% in 2021
© Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images Hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders in San Francisco spiked more than 500% in 2021

  • San Francisco reported a 567% increase in hate incidents against Asians and Pacific Islanders in 2021.
  • City officials discussed the preliminary police data at a Tuesday press conference.

San Francisco city officials on Tuesday vowed to increase safety measures for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders after revealing preliminary police data that showed a whopping 567% increase in hate crimes committed against the AAPI community in 2021 from the previous year.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

The initial data from 2021, which is still considered preliminary until the California Department of Justice makes an official determination on hate-crime statistics across the state, shows 60 victims reported hate incidents last year.

That number is up from nine in 2020 and just eight in 2019.

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At a Tuesday press conference, San Francisco Chief of Police Bill Scott said one man is believed to be responsible for half of the 2021 hate incidents. Officials did not identify the man but said he was arrested in August and potentially faces additional hate-crime charges.

Law enforcement arrested a 36-year-old man accused of vandalizing Asian-owned businesses in August.

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But even accounting for 31 crimes the man is accused of, the annual data would still represent a 200% increase in AAPI hate incidents, which have included targeted robberies and assaults, The San Francisco Standard reported.

“That is significant, that is concerning, and that is alarming,” Scott said during the news conference in Chinatown, according to the outlet.

The city’s mayor, London Breed, also expressed anger toward the ongoing violence, particularly that which has targeted seniors. A surge of hate incidents directed toward the elderly in the city’s Chinatown district sparked city officials to take several protective steps over the last year, including implementing a program that offers seniors a walking buddy, as well as enforcing extra neighborhood patrols.

Breed said more efforts are still needed, especially given many people’s hesitance to report hate crimes, which suggests the actual number of incidents is likely much higher.

Police chief Scott said law enforcement would have an increased presence at upcoming public celebrations for the Lunar New Year beginning next week.

“If anybody thinks that San Francisco is an easy place to come in and terrorize our Asian communities, you are sadly mistaken and you will be held accountable,” Scott said, according to The Washington Post.

The report comes amid a national spike in hate incidents targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Experts have said the surge is in part, fueled by racist rhetoric surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including comments made by former President Donald Trump referring to the virus as a racist nickname and blaming China for the pandemic.

From March 2020 through September 2021, the Stop AAPI Hate coalition tracked more than 10,000 hate incidents across the country.

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