Two weeks after the massacre of eight people — including six Asian women — in the United States, violence against Asian-Americans is still a massive, ongoing problem. The latest, horrific example was an attack on a 65-year-old woman in midtown Manhattan in broad daylight, as bystanders failed to intervene.
According to law enforcement, the attack happened around 11:40 a.m. Monday outside a building only a couple of blocks from Times Square. Surveillance footage released by police shows an unidentified man kicking the woman as they passed by each other on the street. After the assailant kicked her in the stomach, she fell to the ground, and then he repeatedly kicked her in the face before walking off. Police say the man also shouted anti-Asian insults at the woman.
A person who appeared to be a worker in the building is seen on the video witnessing the attack and not stepping in. Instead, they close the door after the attacker takes off, leaving the woman on the ground. The Brodsky Organization, the building’s management company, released a statement saying that the staff members in the security footage have been suspended “pending an investigation in conjunction with their union.” The woman, who has not been identified, was hospitalised with serious injuries. A hospital spokesperson confirmed that, as of Tuesday, she was in stable condition.
The New York Police Department’s hate crimes task force is asking residents of the city for help in identifying the attacker. A warning to anyone watching the video, which is linked here: The footage is graphic.
At a news conference on Tuesday morning, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the video of the attack was “absolutely disgusting and outrageous,” adding that it was “absolutely unacceptable” that no one helped the woman.
“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you’ve got to help your fellow New Yorker,” said de Blasio.
The Manhattan attack is the latest in a yearlong surge of anti-Asian violence across the country that has been linked in part to the misplaced blame for the coronavirus and former President Donald Trump’s use of racist terms like “China virus.” The New York Police Department has seen at last 33 hate crimes victimising Asian-Americans so far this year, reports The Associated Press. Across the United States, more than 3,795 incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, an organisation that tracks incidents of discrimination, hate, and xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, from March 19, 2020, to February 28, 2021. Here in the UK, since the start of the pandemic UK police data suggests a rise of 300 per cent rise in COVID-related hate crimes toward Chinese, East and South East Asians in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019.