The recent wave of attacks on Asian American seniors in San Francisco has prompted the city’s top law enforcement leaders to speak out.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and Police Chief Bill Scott joined Chinatown community leaders Wednesday afternoon to emphasize that this type of violence will not be tolerated.
“We have to make it clear that we will not stand for this,” Jenkins said at the press event in Portsmouth Square. “I have to continue to make sure that we effectively prosecute these cases.”
In July, at least four cases involving Asian seniors shook the community, which has faced unprecedented public safety challenges since the pandemic.
On July 3, 63-year-old Yanfang Wu was pushed to her death in the Bayview. The case, initially ruled as an accident, remains an open investigation. No arrest has been made.
Then, on July 10, an 86-year-old woman was pushed to the ground in the Tenderloin, causing non-life-threatening injuries. At present, it is unclear whether the police have made an arrest in the case.
On July 21, an 88-year-old woman was kicked to the ground near Union Square, causing her to suffer massive internal bleeding. Suspect James Lee Ramsey, who had previously attacked Oakland Chinatown leader Carl Chan, was arrested and charged with multiple felonies.
Days later, on July 24, a 68-year-old Asian man was attacked in the Excelsior with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the police. Andrew Domino was arrested and charged with assault and elder abuse.
Jenkins and Scott confirmed that none of these incidents appears to involve a racial motivation, meaning none of the suspects may be charged with a hate crime. But they vowed to bring “true and meaningful consequences” to the offenders.
That resonated with Anni Chung, a longtime Chinese community leader and the director of the senior services nonprofit Self-Help for the Elderly.
“Why would anyone kick an 88-year-old lady?” Chung said. “Hopefully, these bad guys will be put away for a long time.”
Han Li can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org