U.S. lawmakers are calling for a “ further investigation ” of the deadly spa shootings which it says appear “ racially motivated. ”
US lawmaker called for “further investigation” to determine whether anti-Asian racism has spurred three shootings in the Atlanta area that killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent.
Senator Tammy Duckworth’s comments on Sunday came after FBI Director Chris Wray told NPR last week, while the investigation into the March 16 attacks was underway, “it does not appear that the motive was racist.”
“From where I am sitting I want to see further investigation into whether or not these shootings and other similar crimes are motivated by race,” said Duckworth, one of only two Asian Americans in the Senate. American, in an interview on CBS’s Face the show. Nation.
“It seems to me to be driven by race,” she said.
The investigation continues into the deadly shootings at three separate Atlanta-area spas, which have fueled fears in Asian-American communities that are already experiencing an increase in harassment and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When you see racism happening, you have a moral responsibility to your fellow Americans to stand up and speak out.
– Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) March 21, 2021
Community leaders said racist rhetoric from politicians, including former President Donald Trump, who called the coronavirus a “Chinese virus,” contributed to the increase in hate incidents over the past year.
A recent report from the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center documented 3,795 incidents of hate targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States between March 19, 2020 and February 28 of this year.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans increased 149% in 2020 in 16 major US cities compared to 2019, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
“It seems to me that [the shooter] knew he was going to places where the people he shot were disproportionately Asians and women, and I think investigators really need to look into these facts, ”the representative told CNN. Ted Lieu, member of the House Judiciary Committee. .
US Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia also suggested on Sunday that racism played a role in the murders.
“We all know we hate it when we see it,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press show. “It is tragic that we have again been affected by this type of violence.”
Warnock and fellow Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff attended a rally on Saturday outside the Georgia state capital building in Atlanta, where hundreds called for a end anti-asian hatred and for justice for victims.
Similar protests have taken place in other cities across the country, as well as in Canada.
Meanwhile, Asian-American community groups in Georgia have called for concrete actions to fight the root causes of violence against the community.
“The Trump administration’s relentless scapegoat of Asians for the pandemic has only exacerbated the impact on Asian business owners and frontline workers and ignited existing racism,” Americans said of Asian origin. declaration this week.
“The hypersexualization of Asian American women and the widespread normalization of violence against women of color, immigrant women, and poor women make Asian American women particularly vulnerable,” it read.
Asian-American activists also denounced a local law enforcement official who told reporters this week that the 21-year-old suspect accused of the murders was having “a very bad day.”
Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is no longer the spokesperson for the case.