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4.29.2010

san francisco police adds patrols in response to attacks

In response to the recent rash of attacks targeting Asian Americans near Muni lines, San Francisco police will soon deploy 32 officers to foot-beat patrols around transit stops in the Bayview and Visitacion Valley: S.F. adds police patrols in response to attacks.

The added officers will be deployed starting this week and remain in the area for at least a month. According to the police chief, they will walk beats to help reassure Asian American residents in the wake of two attacks, one fatal, along Muni's T-Third Metro line, and an assault on a Muni driver:
On Jan. 24, five young men attacked 83-year-old Huan Chen at the T-Third stop at Third Street and Oakdale Avenue. Chen died two months later at a hospital.

In March, a 57-year-old Asian American woman was thrown to the ground from a Muni platform in the same area. She was injured but is recovering. Several youths were seen on surveillance video, and a 15-year-old was later arrested and charged with robbery.

On April 17, an Asian American man driving a 9-San Bruno Muni bus was punched and kicked by as many as five youths after he confronted them vandalizing the coach at Somerset Street and San Bruno Avenue.

The driver was hospitalized. Three juveniles were arrested and charged with assault, and two others were cited and released.
Obviosuly, the attacks have prompted concerns among Asian Americans in the community that they're being targeted for racial reasons. This week, nearly 300 Asian Americans showed up at City Hall to testify about being assaulted, robbed and intimidated: Asian American attacks focus at City Hall.

Meanwhile, last week, the NAACP's San Francisco chapter gathered members of the city's Asian and African-American community, church and business leaders to come up with a course of action to address the recent violence: NAACP Hopes to Diffuse Tension Between Asians and Blacks in San Francisco. No doubt, for anything to change, this will have to be just the first of many such conversations.