The 'army' of Asian descent protects their countrymen against the wave of hatred 3

The 'army' of Asian descent protects their countrymen against the wave of hatred 3

Before dusk on March 22, several dozen Asian Americans patrolled a neighborhood in New York, aiming to protect their own community.

They are not police, but students, retail workers and retirees, carrying only mobile phones in case they see someone being harassed or attacked.

`The wave of hate makes me feel sick. So, it’s time for us to speak up and help each other as much as possible. If anyone tries to take any action, maybe they will have to think again.`

Groups of such volunteers are growing across the United States.

Community Safety Patrol volunteer group, with the goal of protecting people of Asian descent, in New York City, USA.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, US cities have seen an increasing number of attacks targeting Asian people.

According to New York Police Department (NYPD) officials, the fact that nCoV was first discovered in China caused some people to blame Asian Americans for the origin of the pandemic.

To respond to the situation, the NYPD last year established an Asian Hate Crime Task Force and increased patrols in certain neighborhoods, including Manhattan’s Chinatown and parts of Brooklyn, the Commissioner said.

Police in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and many other cities also increased operations after the March 16 shootings at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent.

Jing Li, a 30-year-old man living in the Flushing neighborhood in New York, joined his first volunteer patrol on March 22, after reading about the shooting in Atlanta.

Usually, when walking around the streets of Flushing, people will hear more Mandarin than English.

The NYPD said a man from a volunteer patrol group in Flushing had his phone taken out of his hand on March 21, after filming two men defaming Asians.

`The world is changing. You can’t predict what people are thinking,` Li commented, adding that he told his mother to be more vigilant.

Some residents in Flushing said they felt reassured when there were more police cars than usual.

Former NYPD officer Richard Lee, one of the leaders of the Flushing-focused Community Safety Patrol volunteer group, explains that some immigrants have had negative experiences with police, or many

According to Lee, in many cases, there are complex cultural reasons why Asian Americans do not want to report incidents to the police.

`They can spend 3-4 days asking for leave, while their lives and their families depend on it. So, they would rather endure and ignore it. We want to guide them to change this situation.`

The NYPD and local authorities last week urged individuals not to hesitate to call 911 simply because they do not know English.

Meanwhile, Lee tried to reassure community residents that even if they are afraid of talking to police, members of the Community Safety Patrol team will be there to assist them with their calls.

Volunteers in this group also distribute leaflets to stalls and passersby.

Peggy Zhong, a financial advisor and member of the Community Safety Patrol, shared photos of marches she participated in in Chinatown in Manhattan and Brooklyn with friends in China.

`They encouraged me, wished me luck, safety and health,` Zhong said, adding that she could no longer stay silent.

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