After reports emerged Sunday that a man ran a red light and drove into a crosswalk as protesters marched in a “Stop Asian Hate” rally in Southern California, the Los Angeles County Sheriff said that his department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed early Tuesday morning that his office was investigating the incident as a hate crime.
According to KABC-TV and KTLA-TV, the incident occurred Sunday in Diamond Bar, California, located just east of Los Angeles. Video from the incident shows that as protesters marched through a crosswalk on a busy street, a black car made a U-turn through the crowd while the driver yelled profanities.
Based on what we have learned, this is being investigated as a hate crime. https://t.co/HTKAq2Fr7R— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) March 23, 2021
No injuries were reported during the incident.
Additional footage showed protesters chasing the car down. Eventually, the driver pulled over, exited the vehicle and yelled “f*** China” toward the protesters before getting back in his car and driving off. The footage clearly captures the car’s license plate.
“Hateful acts like this are not welcome in Los Angeles County and must STOP!” Villanueva said in a tweet on Monday upon initial reports of the incident.
The Diamond Bar incident is just the latest in the rising reports of harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the past year since COVID-19 took hold in the U.S.
Hate incidents against the AAPI community peaked earlier this month when a gunman killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three Atlanta-area spas.