Recent attacks prompt calls to relieve tensions 

In light of recent attacks against elderly Asians, community leaders are calling on politicians to respond to the concerns about violence and race.

Today, Mayor Gavin Newsom is convening with leaders from the Asian-American and black communities to begin discussions about how to end the violence and smooth over relationships among minority communities. On Tuesday afternoon, members of the Asian-American community are planning to meet on the steps of City Hall to draw attention to increasing violence against members of their community.

“We don’t need to point fingers, but we need to acknowledge that there is racial tension and we need to deal with it,” said Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action.

The growing tension is tied to a series of attacks against Asians in the past three months, including a Jan. 24 incident in which an 83-year-old man was kicked and punched on a T-Third Street Muni platform. The man, Huan Chen, died two months later.

On March 22, a teenager threw a 57-year-old Asian woman off a 3-foot-high T-line platform and onto the street while several youths watched. Other people who were at the stop eventually helped the woman get out of the street. Five days later, a
39-year-old man told police he was attacked by five young men between the ages of 14 and 16 inside a Muni vehicle along Third Street.

Two weeks ago, a San Francisco man, who was Asian, died after being beaten up in Oakland by two black teens he had confronted because they allegedly hit his son. Lavonte Drummer and Dominic Davis, both 18 and Oakland residents, were charged with murder.

San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu, who has been working with community members in the past few weeks on the racial-tension issue, is calling on The City and community to offer a reward to solve the murder case involving Chen.

“I am disturbed about the trend,” Newsom said of the recent attacks. “That’s important to me, and we are taking it very, very seriously.”

Joe Marshall, executive director of the Omega Boys Club in the Bayview, said it’s time for the community and police to hold the perpetrators accountable.

“In the end, the real peace is getting to the people who are doing it,” Marshall said. “That’s the only way to make people feel better.”

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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