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'We Are At A Crisis Point': Philadelphia Police Investigating 2 Cases Of Racist Vandalism In City

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia's police commissioner is using social media to condemn what she describes as "hateful and racist vandalism in Chinatown and South Philadelphia." Additionally, there's another alleged attack being investigated by police.

Eyewitness News has confirmed both Philadelphia and SEPTA Police are looking into an alleged assault of two Indonesian youths at the City Hall station this past Sunday. It comes as Philadelphia's top cop calls out what she describes as a "surge in racist rhetoric and violence."

"We are at a crisis point," Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation's Executive Director John Chin said.

That is how Chin describes the escalating number of harassment cases and hate crimes against Asian Americans happening here in Philadelphia since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Some were pushed and shoved, water splashed on them. What's really disgusting is some people were spat on," Chin said.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw tweeted out Wednesday afternoon that the city is "actively investigating several incidents of hateful and racist vandalism in Chinatown and South Philadelphia," saying, "this national and local surge in racist rhetoric & acts of violence will not be tolerated."

"Friday morning, we noticed the graffiti sprayed onto one of our planters in Chinatown," Chin said.

This is a photo of that vandalism at 10th and Vine Streets.

Philadelphia Police also confirmed another incident at 24th and Montrose Streets.

"The beginning of 2021 is worse than what we've seen in 2020," Chin said.

While the paint has been wiped clean, the effect on the local Asian community is lasting.

"They are afraid to take public transportation to and from work.They stay home, they try to avoid public spaces," Chin said.

After a peaceful vigil was held here to protest anti-Asian hate, on Thursday, a Rally for Solidarity will start here at 3 p.m. Participants will then march to City Hall starting at 4 p.m.

CBS3's Alicia Roberts reports.

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