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State advisory council briefed on hate crime reporting by Asian Americans

People demonstrate against anti-Asian violence and racism on March 27, 2021 in Los Angeles. A week earlier eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area spas, six of whom were Asian women, in an attack that sent fear through the Asian community amid a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
Mario Tama
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People demonstrate against anti-Asian violence and racism on March 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. A week earlier, eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area spas, six of whom were Asian women. The attack sent fear through the Asian community amid a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

The Connecticut Hate Crimes Advisory Council was briefed Friday regarding the perceived lack of follow-up after hate crimes are reported by Asian Americans.

A report on the rising violence against Asian Americans will be published at the end of April by the Asian American Bar Association of New York. The first report, released last year, documented 235 reports of attacks against Asian Americans in the five boroughs in the first three quarters of 2021. But many more went unreported, hate prevention groups say.

“We will not get good reporting if hate crime laws are not enforced,” said Yang Chen, the association's executive director.

Chen said there were plenty of reports of attacks, “but none show what happened after the attacks.” Of the reported 235 hate crimes, 27 suspects were charged, two entered into plea deals and none went to trial.

When Chen followed up with the district attorney’s office to find out why none went to trial, he said he learned that most of the assaults were committed by people deemed “mentally ill.”

Communication between the authorities and the community, Chen pointed out, would ease “frustration and distrust of the criminal justice system.”

The Connecticut council’s report to the state legislature is due in October.

Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.

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