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Leaders call for hate crime investigation of two men who set grandma on fire. China Mac speaks out

Elected and community leaders in New York are calling on police to launch a hate crime investigation after two men set a woman on fire.

The incident which happened on July 14 incited outrage within the Asian American community. The unidentified men approached a now 90-year-old victim and without apparent provocation, slapped her in the face and then set her shirt on fire.

Only the quick thinking of the woman prevented serious injuries as she snuffed out the fire by rubbing her back against a wall.

“What could be more vile and obscene than that!?” said Assembly Member William Colton (D-Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) at a news conference, reported Kings County Politics. “There was an excellent possibility she was going to be killed. In my mind, that is attempted murder!”

The victim who was 89 at the time of the crime recently celebrated her birthday and is said to be recovered.

“This 89-year-old senior, she was only a few years older than my mom,” said Democratic Assembly District Leader Nancy Tong, reported Kings County Politics. “This could have been any of our mothers.”

Scores of mostly Asian Americans marched earlier this month demanded more to be done to find the perpetrators. The rally organized by rapper China Mac has brought attention to the entertainer who has thought himself as apolitical.

He recently released a video statement on Instagram and YouTube explaining his motivations.

“I am like nowhere your average Asian person,” he said. “I grew up a lot different. I grew up in a prison setting. I grew up in the system.

“Who’s at the front line fighting for Asians? Who? …If I wasn’t so loud and so different, would I be doing the things that I’m doing…would I be in the midst of Brooklyn…ready to risk my life?”

China Mac has called another rally for 3pm this Saturday.

In addition, City Councilman Mark Treyger wrote a joint letter last week with Colton asking the police commission to expand the weekly release of crime statistics to include bias crimes.

“As hate crimes continue to rise, our city must do everything possible to make sure all New Yorkers are safe,” they wrote, according to the Daily News. “By adding hate crimes data to CompStat reports, hate crimes data will be as transparent as other crimes.”

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