HomeAsian AmericansAsian Americans in Oregon demand tougher hate crime enforcement

Asian Americans in Oregon demand tougher hate crime enforcement

Asian Americans outraged at the release of a hate crime suspect accused of attacking a father and his 5-year-old daughter rallied in Portland Thursday.

OPB reports they demonstrated to demand that people arrested for hate crimes be held in jail longer.

“I would certainly like to see certain crimes, like hate crimes, listed as non-releasable offenses,” John Kodachi, former president of the Portland Japanese American Citizens League, said.

“What is the process that we can ensure that if somebody is caught and arrested, that they are held and not let out?” said Chisao Hata, the creative director of the Japanese American Museum of Oregon.

Police say the attack on the father and daughter happened earlier this month as they rode their bicycles. Days later a man harassed another man he believed was from China.

“Hatred—if the only thing you do is retreat, it’ll always find you,” said Joe Kye, a musician and community organizer in Portland, to KGW.

He’s organizing an event dubbed Tiger Tiger scheduled for this Sunday, July 17 in Portland.

“[There’s] hunger for an event like this,” Kye said. “To build solidarity and heal, but also an opportunity for Portland at large to show up and practice some radical joy.”

Kye told the Oregonian he hopes the celebration of Asian American culture will become an annual event. It had originally been scheduled pre-Covid, but the pandemic delayed the plans.

Hate crimes against Asians have increased 200% in the past year, according to OPB. The actual increase is believed to be much higher as officials say hate crimes are underreported.

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