ALHAMBRA (CBSLA) -- Hundreds of people gathered at a candlelight vigil called 'Stop Asian Hate' as crimes against Asian-Americans have been skyrocketing.
Six women of Asian descent were among the eight people killed in attacks on three Atlanta-area massage businesses.
Earlier Saturday, local leaders stood in solidarity out at Fullerton's City Hall. They were united in criticizing authorities including the FBI director for not classifying what the suspect confessed to as a hate crime.
"We will not be silent against the gun violence," Betty Hang, the vigil organizer wrote on Facebook. "We want to remember the importance of uniting -- for love, understanding, and compassion of our community."
The event took place at 6:30 p.m. at Almansor Park, 800 S. Almansor St. Attendees brought to bring candles, paintings, and posters.
"I'm heartbroken to see elderly people not only attacked in my community but attacks in Hispanic vendors as well," said attendee Norma Federico Saturday. " This needs to stop."
The Stop AAPI Hate organization has had 360 hate incidents reported in Los Angeles in the past year. A total of 3,800 incidents have been reported in the United States during the year, the organization's co-founder Manjusha P. Kulkarni said.
On Friday, Mayor Eric Garcetti and other Los Angeles officials gathered to address the rise in hate crimes against the Asian American community. They urged the public to report any instance of hate to law enforcement.
"We are seeing record violence and discrimination against Asian Pacific Islanders, primarily due to false narratives and bigoted lies surrounding COVID-19," said Capri Maddox, executive director of the L.A. Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department. "We must all rise to support our fellow Angelenos from discrimination, bigotry and hate."
Capri said that hate crimes against Los Angeles' Asian American Pacific Islander community increased by 114% in 2020, according to data from the LAPD.
Kulkarni said incidents in the L.A. area "range the gamut from verbal harassment to discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations to, unfortunately, physical attacks as serious as the one that took place in Atlanta on Tuesday."
People can report a hate incident or hate crime on the LAPD's website, through the county's 211 system by calling 211 or going to 211la.org; or at stopaapihate.org.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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