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Asian Americans in Tampa Bay speak up against hate crimes

122 anti-Asian hate crimes committed over the past year
Atlanta shootings
Posted at 6:55 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 19:09:15-04

We’re still learning more about Tuesday’s deadly shootings at three spas in Atlanta, including the fact that the shooter told investigators he planned on coming to Florida after those events

ABC Action News In-depth reporter Anthony Hill is speaking with one leader of the Asian American community in the Tampa Bay area about their concerns.

After Tuesday’s shootings and an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, many people in these communities feel a sense of anxiety concerning their safety and the safety of their families.

“Violence against Asian Americans in this country is not new. It’s existed since the Chinese came and built the railroads across this country,” said Debi Sines Crockett, a local attorney.

She’s also a Korean American trying to speak up for her community during a time where we’re seeing an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“Particularly in the larger cities where there are more Asian Americans, yes, I think the sentiment is concern and anger,” said Sines Crockett.

Many Asian Americans are concerned for their safety and angry because over the past year there were 122 incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes, an increase of about 150% over the previous year.

“You have the cool factor because Korean K-Pop, K-dramas, all of that is super popular right now and then you combine that with what’s going on in our country where Asian Americans and, in particular, in Georgia some of those women were Korean Americans have been targeted. There’s a disconnect there," Sines Crockett said.

The shooter reportedly told investigators the shootings were not racially motivated, though two of the sites where the shootings took place were 30 miles apart.

Sines Crockett says these events of violence toward Asian Americans have instilled a sense of anxiety, especially amongst older Asian Americans. She says one of the ways we can curve hate crimes is by supporting organizations that advocate for Asian Americans and by speaking up if you see something unjust happening.