Police arrested a man in connection with three attacks against Asian-Americans in Oakland’s Chinatown last month, CBS San Francisco reported.
Yahya Muslim, 28, was charged with assault, battery, elder abuse and a special charge while on bail, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. The office also said Muslim had two prior felony assault convictions.
LeRonne Armstrong, newly sworn in as Oakland Police Chief, announced the arrest Monday. Muslim faces charges for the assault on a 91-year-old man on January 31 caught on video. He is accused of assaulting two other people, a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman, on the same day.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said she is investigating whether the attacks were racially motivated, which could add a hate crime to Muslim’s charges. He also announced the creation of a special response unit focused on crimes against Asian Americans, especially older Asians.
“It is not unique to Chinatown or the Asian community the increase in crime that we have seen in the city and throughout the county, but we have seen in the last weeks and months a very specific increase in crimes committed against Asians,” he said O Malley said.
The new unit also arrives after another similar attack in the Bay Area. An 84-year-old man from Thailand died after being attacked in San Francisco on January 28. A 19-year-old man was arrested for the man’s murder and elder abuse, the San Francisco district attorney said.
The recent series of attacks garnered national attention, prompting actors Daniel Wu and Daniel Dae Kim to donate $ 25,000 to a bounty that helps find the culprit. In an Instagram post showing the attack on the 91-year-old man, Wu commented on the increase in attacks against Asian Americans.
“We must do more to help the literally thousands of Americans who have suffered at the hands of this absolutely senseless violence,” he said. “We must take a stand and say, ‘no more.’
“Those of us who have been following these issues since COVID started have seen these types of incidents in our news sources appear almost daily and yet we see that very little is done about it.”on Tuesday.
In the same interview, Wu called on the federal government to join community groups that have made fighting racism against Asian Americans a priority. “What the federal government can do later is reach out to community groups that are already in this space and have been doing this work for years and find out more about how they can help,” Wu said.
CBS News senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday if President Biden had seen the videos.
“I don’t know who has seen the videos, but he is concerned about discrimination, actions against the Asian American community, which is why he signed the executive order and why he has been frank in making it clear that the attacks, the verbal attacks, whatever attack in any way, it is unacceptable “, Psaki said.
Days after its inauguration, Mr. Bidento repudiate racism and xenophobia towards Asian Americans, specifically targeting the anti-Asian animus related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a three-month period, more than 2,120 incidents or hate crimes wereby Asian Americans between March and June of last year, according to the China-Asia Pacific Policy and Planning Council for Affirmative Action. There has been an increase of almost 845% compared to all the cases reported in 2017, 2018 and 2019 combined. The country’s tone was exacerbated by former President Donald Trump, who referred to the virus as “Kung Flu” or the “Chinese virus.”
On the other hand, Oakland community organizers have established a fund for armed private security in Chinatown. As of Tuesday, he has more than $ 62,000 in donations.
Alvin Patrick and Caitlin Yilek contributed to this report.