New report criticizes rate of convictions in crimes with Asian victims in New York City

Report shows hate crimes against AAPI community not getting prosecuted

NEW YORK -- On the last day of AAPI Heritage Month, there's troubling data on hate crimes against the community. 

A new report shows while more victims are willing to report attacks, many cases are not getting prosecutorial attention. 

CBS2's Christina Fan breaks down the numbers. 

"I want justice," said Eva Zhao. 

Zhao set aside her heartbreak Tuesday, pleading for an arrest through the help of a translator. A month after her husband, Zhiwen Yan, was shot and killed while delivering food in Forest Hills, the NYPD still hasn't found the disgruntled customer eyed as a person of interest

"I feel scared that if we do not catch this criminal, if he murders someone again. I really don't want to see another family go through the same kind of pain," Zhao said. 

Even when they are victims in high-profile cases, Asian-Americans say they feel invisible to the law. 

A new report, released by the Asian American Bar Association of New York Tuesday looked into what happens after victims file police reports and found a lack of accountability.  

"My fear, and I think it's already happening, is that they sense futility," said Yang Chen, executive director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. 

According to the report, in the first three quarters of 2021, there were 233 Anti-Asian incidents in New York City, and 91 incidents led to an arrest, 41 resulted in hate crime charges, but so far there have only been seven convictions. 

The study did not analyze similar convictions for other minority groups.

"That strikes me as a low number given that, during this time, there was such a surge of anti-Asian violence," Chen said. 

Advocates are pushing for several solutions, including: 

  • Fully funding hate crime units in law enforcement  
  • Improving training when it comes investigating these crimes
  • And reforming hate crime laws to help prosecutors 

"We want to make it easier that the hate element can be one part of it. Because when people say 'in whole or a substantial part,' it kind of discourages that part," said Chris Kwok of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. 

In Yan's case, police have not ruled out the possibility his murder was a hate-crime. They're waiting to make an arrest first, as is his family. 

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