Manhattan’s District Attorney’s office announced Thursday that it will file 2nd-degree murder hate crime charges against the suspect in the killing of Yao Pan Ma.
Prosecutors say Jarrod Powell struck Ma from behind as he collected recyclables near 125th Street and Third Avenue.
“Hopefully there’s a speedy trial and they get a conviction out of this and incarcerate Powell for the rest of his life,” said Karlin Chan, a spokesman for the family of Ma said to Gothamist.
The incident happened in April of 2021. Ma went into a coma and died on New Year’s Eve. There’s no explanation about why it took more than five weeks to upgrade the charges from attempted murder and assault as a hate crime.
A rally on January 21 in Harlem called for unity against violence in the aftermath of Ma’s death.
“The Manhattan DA’s Office currently has 33 open hate crime cases related to anti-Asian hate crimes. The Manhattan DA’s Office prosecuted nearly four times more anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021 than in the previous year, along with a significant increase in anti-Asian hate crimes investigations,” the district attorney’s office said to CNN.
According to 1010 WINS, Powell allegedly made statements to police that he had been attacked by two Koreans and a Japanese attack the day before the attack on Ma. Powell did not provide a description of any of the people he said attacked him nor did he report the attack to police when it happened.
The devastating death of Yao Pan Ma, a beloved father of two, occurred amidst a surge of anti-Asian attacks targeting our families, friends, neighbors, and New York values,” District Attorney Alvin Bragg said to CNN. “As alleged, Jarrod Powell selectively attacked Mr. Ma for no other reason than his race.”
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