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San Francisco park renamed after Chinese woman who died a year after being attacked there

New San Francisco park pays tribute to Asian-American woman who was attacked
New San Francisco park pays tribute to Asian-American woman who was attacked 02:42

A Visitacion Valley park has been renamed after a great-grandmother who died from her injuries a year after being attacked at the park. 

San Francisco city leaders, neighbors, and the family of Yik Oi Huang unveiled the new sign on Saturday afternoon that reads Yik Oi Huang Peace and Friendship Park.

A granddaughter of the victim, Sasanna Yee, led chants of the victim's name, "Yik Oi," which means abundant love in Chinese.

Yee and Visitacion Valley neighbors wanted to turn the senseless loss into a win.

"Abundant love has been the theme," said Diana Yee, a granddaughter of Huang.  "(The renaming) is a big step towards healing, for sure." 

Diana Yee said the attack frightened and kept many Asian seniors away from the park.

"The community had been really scared of coming out in the morning to exercise and reclaim the park. And so with the lion dancers, with the new name, it does feel like a whole new park," said Diana Yee.

Police say 18-year-old Keonte Gathron brutally beat 88-year-old Huang at the park in January 2019. Investigators said it was unprovoked. Police said she died from her injuries a year later.

The great-grandmother lived in a beige house next to the park and exercised there every morning. The African-American and Asian-American communities united to push for the renaming after her death.

"There's a sense of victory and there's a sense of justice," said Sasanna Yee.

"Everyone is coming together and not necessarily choosing to be divided as a result of this tragedy," said Mayor London Breed. 

While Sasanna and Diana forgave the suspect and wanted restorative justice for him, they admitted many of their family members were still divided and angry.

Diana hoped positive energy, healing, and abundant love will help her large family find peace.

"For me to even having been able to actually cry in this event meant a lot for me because I have been detached," said Diana. 

Five years after the attack, the case was still held up in court. Prosecutors said the defense attorneys had asked for more time to review the evidence in the case.

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