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San Diego Police Want Asian Americans To Feel Comfortable Reporting Hate Crimes

Two San Diego Police officers stand outside a parking lot next to business owner Michael Tu (right) in the Convoy District, April 8, 2021.
Roland Lizarondo
Two San Diego Police officers stand outside a parking lot next to business owner Michael Tu (right) in the Convoy District, April 8, 2021.

Police and elected officials are working to make sure Asian Americans feel comfortable reporting hate crimes.

During a "public safety symposium" hosted by the city of San Diego in the Convoy District, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said hate has no place here.

San Diego Police Want Asian Americans To Feel Comfortable Reporting Hate Crimes
Listen to thi sstory by Matt Hoffman.

"Right now it is important for all of us whether you're a member of the Asian Pacific Islander community or not to say with one voice, 'That we do not support this and we will hold those that do it accountable,'" Gloria said.

Law enforcement said it cannot act if crimes are not reported.

"I recognize that for many in our community it’s hard for us to come forward and say that something’s happened," Gloria said. "As your mayor, I ask you to come forward."

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Hate crimes are some of the least reported and while some might not see it, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said crimes against Asian Americans are happening here.

"It is unfortunately here in our midst in San Diego," Stephan said. "In 2017, 2018, 2019 we had zero cases targeting our Asian communities with hate. Since the pandemic we are prosecuting three felony hate crime cases that target our Asian communities."

San Diego City Councilmember Chris Cate who represents the Convoy area helped put together the safety symposium.

"We don't want our businesses owners and residents to feel vulnerable — we want to empower them with information at their fingertips," he said.

VIDEO: San Diego Officials Encourage Asian-Americans To Report Hate Crimes

Local business leaders like Michael Tu are grateful officials are setting up events like this which aim to bring residents closer to police.

"It’s very important to let the community know that if there’s anything they need their doors are open," he said. "So it’s good — it’s great."

There are two more outreach events next week, one in Linda Vista and another in Mira Mesa. Hate crimes can be reported through the district attorney's online portal, which has already gotten more than 100 tips.