A potential car ramming at an anti-Asian hate rally is under investigation by Los Angeles police as a hate crime.
“Based on what we have learned,” Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva announced on Tuesday, “this is being investigated as a hate crime”.
A video of the incident shows a car swerving through a pedestrian crossing during a rally in Diamond Bar on Sunday afternoon, as protesters – all visible with placards — attempted to cross.
The suspect came close to running over some of the pedestrians, who appeared to be surprised, although no injuries were reported by police.
As seen in the video, the suspect pulls over, leaves the vehicle, and shouts anti-Asian slurs at the pedestrians, which included “F**** China”, ABC News 7 reported.
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It came amid a "Stop Asian Hate" rally on Sunday afternoon, when cities and states throughout the US took to the streets to protest against anti-Asian sentiment.
"The brazenness of doing this at an Anti-Hate rally speaks to the level that people will go to harass and bully communities of colour,” said Los Angeles County supervisor Janice Hahn to ABC.
It follows the fatal shooting of six Asian-Americans in Atlanta, Georgia, last Tuesday, and an almost year long reckoning with race for the US.
According to advocacy group “Stop AAPI Hate”, the number of crimes reported against Asian-Americans was almost 3,800 for March 2020 to February 2021, when the Covid-19 virus spread from China.
And in Los Angeles County alone, 245 incidents were reported for the period March 2020 to October 2020, according to “Stop AAPI Hate”.
Former US president Donald Trump referred to the virus as the “Wuhan flu” and “China virus”, in what critics said were slurs.
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