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Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Increase During Pandemic

KOREATOWN (CBSLA) — Denny Kim said was walking down a Koreatown street when two men attacked him.

Denny Kim
Denny Kim said he was walking down Kenmore Avenue, between Wilshire Boulevard and 6th Street, Feb. 16 when two men attacked him. "They told me to go back to China," Kim said. (Denny Kim photo)

"They were hurling racial insults they were calling me 'Ching Chong,' 'C***k,' 'Chinese virus,'" Kim said. "They told me to go back to China."

Kim said the violent, racist attack happened the night of Feb. 16 on Kenmore Avenue, between Wilshire Boulevard and 6th Street.

"They struck my forehead, they hit my eye, and I fell down to the ground," he said. "They were beating me up."

Kim, who served in the United States Air Force, said he has been the target of racist comments before. He also said his friend showed up at the right moment that night and scared the attackers away.

"Definitely glad I was there," Joseph Cha said. "Thankful to God I was there."

The Los Angeles Police Department said it received a 911 call around 8:40 p.m. that night reporting the attack.

Asian American and Pacific Island Community groups said hate incidents were way up in California and across the nation since the pandemic began — some targeting the elderly.

"It's just absolutely senseless, and it really breaks my heart that people are hurting and targeting the elders," Kim said.

"Watching this violence against Asian Americans is just so upsetting, Tam Nguyen, co-founder of Nailing It For America, said.

The community organization works to raise awareness about anti-Asian hate crimes.

"Whether it's speaking up, whether it's sharing, or whether it's lending a hand and reaching out to your Asian American friends brothers and sisters in the community," he said.

"At the end of the day, we're all one human race, you know," Cha said. "It's 2021 now."

LAPD said it took a criminal threats and hate crime report, though Kim could only describe his attackers as two Hispanic men — one who was bald and wearing a gray long-sleeve shirt and the other wearing a white hooded sweatshirt.


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