ATLANTA: Members of Congress laid flowers Sunday on the three therapeutic massage companies in Georgia the place a gunman killed eight individuals, six of them girls of Asian descent, and demanded that prosecutors cost the suspect with a hate crime.
The congressional delegation included members of the Asian Pacific American Caucus, which mentioned Asian Individuals have confronted elevated hostility because the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawmakers mentioned they wished to expertise the shooter’s roughly 30-mile (48-kilometer) journey from Cherokee County, the place police say he killed 4 individuals at Youngs Asian Therapeutic massage, to Atlanta, the place he’s accused of taking pictures and killing 4 extra individuals at two companies throughout the road from one another.
New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim mentioned he got here to point out solidarity with the native Asian American group and attempt to perceive the way it felt after the March 16 assault.
As I come right here, what involves thoughts is the concept this might have been wherever, Kim, who’s Korean American, mentioned. And that’s what makes us so fearful proper now. We’re fearful as a result of what occurs subsequent, what different violence may there be.
New York Congresswoman Grace Meng mentioned she wished to honor the lives of the victims, significantly the Asian girls, whose tales and lives are simply as American as anybody else.
For too lengthy on this nation, we now have made invisible a lot of the historical past and contributions of Asian Individuals, particularly Asian American girls on this nation,” she mentioned.
The lawmakers spoke exterior Gold Spa, one of many taking pictures websites, the place the bottom was coated with scores of bouquets and tree branches that spelled out, Love. Indicators learn, Asian Ladies Are Sacred and Cease Asian Hate. They deliberate to satisfy later within the day with native leaders of the Asian American group.
Robert Aaron Lengthy, the 21-year-old white man dealing with homicide costs within the assaults, has instructed police he had a intercourse habit. Authorities have mentioned he apparently lashed out at what he noticed as sources of temptation. Lengthy instructed police the shootings weren’t racially motivated, however these statements have spurred widespread skepticism given the areas and that six of the eight victims had been of Asian descent.
It’s clear that this was a deliberate journey, mentioned California Rep. Judy Chu, who chairs the Asian Pacific American Caucus. She added, “It’s clear that you wouldn’t select these three locations until you had been concentrating on Asian girls.
Mark Takano, one other consultant from California, mentioned there have been loads of non-Asian companies that the suspect may have hit on his journey from Cherokee County to Atlanta, so his actions communicate louder than what he has mentioned.
He referred to as on the U.S. Division of Justice to assist native prosecutors, who he mentioned could not have as a lot expertise with hate crimes circumstances.
We can not permit the AAPI group to be gaslighted into considering that this isn’t a hate crime, he mentioned. They see with their very own eyes, they usually really feel what they really feel.
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