The San Francisco and Oakland Police Departments have increased patrols in their respective Chinatown districts this Lunar New Year weekend, in response to several recent assaults on elderly members of Bay Area Asian communities.
The incidents both happened in late January.
An 84-year old man died after being knocked to the ground in San Francisco. In Oakland, a 91-year old man was seen on video falling after being shoved.
Arrests have been made in both cases.
“We’re beefing up patrol around the Chinatown area, making sure there’s a presence there,” said Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong. “Both officers on foot, as well as our command vehicle being parked out in Chinatown, so, you’ll see a very visible presence out there.”
Armstrong said he’s also concerned because Asian Americans have been blamed for the coronavirus.
“We obviously know that this is an important day for our Chinatown community,” Armstrong noted. “We also know that they share gifts amongst each other, and we want our Chinatown community to know that we are there to support them. We want to make it safe, and we want them to enjoy the new year.”