Jada Urbaez, Staff
Header Image: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
Asian American social justice protestors at a San Francisco assembly at Embarcadero Plaza on March 26, 2021.
Although the “Stop Asian Hate” movement gained less traction after its spike in engagement last spring, Asian Americans and people of Asian descent across the world are still victims of violent crimes. Christina Yuna Lee, 35, a Korean-American woman, was killed in her New York City apartment this past weekend. Lee was getting out of a taxi and was followed up six flights of stairs by suspect, Assamad Nash.
Lee was stabbed more than 40 times, and neighbors called 911 after hearing screams from the apartment. When police arrived, Nash allegedly changed his voice to sound like a woman to say police were not needed. An hour later, officials knocked Lee’s apartment door down, and found her shirtless and slain in the bathtub.
Nash has a history of charges in New York and New Jersey, including assault and possession of stolen property, and has been arrested six times since 2015. For the killing of Lee, Assamad Nash has been charged with burglary and murder.
New York City has what some may consider an alarming hate crime report rate. In 2021, the New York Police Department received a collective 524 hate crime complaints, and made a total of 219 hate crime related arrests. It is known that Asian American New Yorkers are the victims at the heart of hate crimes throughout the city, experiencing over a 300 percent increase from 2020 to 2021.
Another headlining murder of an Asian American woman happened on the New York City subway on Jan. 15, 2022. Michelle Go, 40, was pushed into the tracks by Martial Simon while a southbound R train was approaching the station. A 75-year-old Korean-American woman was attacked in Queens earlier this year. The elderly victim suffered face injuries including an inflamed left eye and a bleeding head, and told news sources she is “lucky to be alive.” A South Korean diplomat, 53, was punched near East 35th Street and 5th Avenue earlier this month and suffered a broken nose. The suspect fled the scene. The New York City Police Department has stated the Queens and Midtown attacks are not hate crimes.
New York Mayor, Eric Adams, was interviewed by Eyewitness News, regarding the pattern of these crimes throughout the city. When discussing Michelle Go’s murder, Adams stated, “People want to walk around and say, ‘Oh, he targeted someone else first, then he went to Ms. Go.’ Maybe that is the fact, but that is not what I feel.” Adams also shared that the NYPD has been “reluctant” to identify these crimes as hate crimes, and he does not agree with the incidents’ classifications.