Fighting hate crimes in LA and across the nation

Members of the Atlanta Korean American Committee against Asian Hate Crime show placards as they meet at Ching Dam, a Korean restaurant, after the fatal shooting at three Georgia spas, in Duluth, Georgia, U.S., March 18, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Dustin Chambers

The shootings in Georgia earlier this week that left eight people dead have refocused the country’s attention on hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. A House committee held hearings on discrimination against Asian Americans today.

Blake Chow, deputy chief with the Los Angeles Police Department and its AAPI community liaison, tells KCRW there was a 114% increase in hate crime incidents in 2020, and many occurrences are going underreported right now. 

Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of the group Stop AAPI Hate, highlights the LA Versus Hate program. Via phone or online, people can report a hate incident they’ve experienced, and then receive direct support and case management. “It's not only for the Asian American community, but any marginalized community that feels that they have experienced discrimination. That includes our African American and Latinx communities, Jewish communities, as well as LGBTQ,” she says. 

What’s also needed to tackle these crimes? Stronger civil rights laws and enforcement, Kulkarni says.