Anti-Asian Hate Crimes in Major U.S. Cities Increased 150% in 2020: Report

The findings of a new study of police department statistics shows that hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by nearly 150% in 2020, despite hate crimes overall dropping by 7%.

The report, issued by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, analyzed data on hate crimes in both 2019 and 2020 from authorities in 16 of America's largest cities.

It found the first surge in violence against Asian American came last year, as COVID-19 cases started to spike in March and April. 

The findings show that New York City saw the largest increase in anti-Asian hate crimes, rising from 3 reported instances in 2019 to 28 in 2020.

Boston and Los Angeles also saw increases in reported attacks from 2019 to 2020: 6 to 14 in Boston and 7 to 15 in Los Angeles.

The study does not include data from smaller jurisdictions.

The report comes during the same week in which a 21-year-old gunman allegedly shot eight people — six of them Asian women — and injured another person at three separate spas in the Atlanta area.

Investigators have not said the murders allegedly committed by Robert Aaron Long were hate crimes, though the matter of motive is under investigation. According to authorities, Long claimed he was motivated by a "sexual addiction."

Long has since been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of assault. He has yet to enter pleas to the charges, and information on his lawyer was unavailable Thursday.

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Recent disturbing attacks on — and racism against — Asian Americans has prompted several celebrities, including Olivia Munn, to come forward, calling for an end to the hate.

According to a recent Harris poll, 75 percent of Asian Americans are fearful of increased hate and discrimination toward them. 

To learn more and to report crimes, go to: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Stop the AAPI Hate, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, and Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council.

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