SFPD steps up presence to stem fears of racial violence 

Police Chief George Gascon has beefed up patrols in the Bayview District and Visitacion Valley to ease fears over several high profile incidents involving the Asian community.

The primary goal is to create a "high-visibility presence" by sending 32 officers from other police districts to the area, Gascon said.

Much of the fear stems from the homicide of an 83-year-old Chinese man on Jan. 24. Huan Chen was kicked and punched on a T-Third Muni platform. He died two months later.

Police have run out of leads in the case and Mayor Gavin Newsom has approved a $100,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the killer, Gascon said.

"We know there are people in the community who know what happened," Gascon said. "We're hoping this reward will help them come forward."

Another random homicide of a San Francisco man of Chinese descent, this time in Oakland, this month has only added to the tension.

On March 27, a 39-year-old man told police he was attacked by five young men between the ages of 14 and 16 inside a streetcar at Third Street and Williams Avenue.

In another incident, an unidentified 15-year-old boy admitted to a March 22 incident caught on one of Muni's security cameras in which he threw a 57-year-old woman from a Muni platform.

But despite these publicized crimes, Gascon said there has not been an increase in crime in the Bayview and that the race of victims has been proportionate to the overall population.

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Doug Graham

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