Fifteen Silicon Valley law enforcement leaders have united in a statement against the rising incidents of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The March 17 statement was signed by members of the Santa Clara County Police Chiefs' Association, including Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, a captain in the California Highway Patrol and chiefs of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety and Campbell, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Jose State University, Santa Clara police departments.
"The Santa Clara County Police Chiefs stand in unity with our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities across the country. We condemn the recent hate crimes and bigotry against our (AAPI) communities," it states.
"Our hearts go out to everyone who has been traumatized. As law enforcement leaders in Santa Clara County, we are committed to protecting you and doing everything we can to prevent these abhorrent criminal acts. We are committed to holding those accountable for inflicting pain and fears in our communities," the statement continued.
"We also urge everyone to stand together to do everything we can to stop these attacks. An attack against the AAPI community is an attack on all of us," Chief Phan Ngo, president of the association, wrote.
"Together, we are affirming, without question, that hate and violence towards anyone in the cities we serve will not be tolerated. We stand in unity with our #AAPI communities," the association said in a tweet when it released the letter.
The letter comes a day after eight people, including six Asian American women, were killed in a shooting spree by a 21-year-old Caucasian man at multiple spas in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
In the south bay, a woman was arrested and arraigned in early March after she spat on an Asian American man and used racial slurs outside a Mountain View restaurant in February, and a white woman was recorded on video shouting racial slurs at an Asian American employee in the Los Altos post office last summer.
On March 10, an Asian American woman was sexually assaulted while waiting for a train at the San Jose Diridon Station. Her alleged attacker, a San Francisco man who has been arrested and charged, reportedly yelled racial slurs during the assault.
According to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council's Stop AAPI Hate center, 3,795 hate incidents against Asian American/Pacific Islanders were reported between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.
"The number of hate incidents reported to our center represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face," the nonprofit organization stated.
Nationally, the abuse involved verbal harassment (68.1%) and shunning (20.5%); physical assault (11.1%); civil rights violations, including workplace discrimination, refusal of service, and being barred from transportation (8.5%); and online harassment (6.8%).
On March 9, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors renewed its April 2020 resolution in support of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and renouncing violence against them.