Washington DC

‘Hate Stops With Us': DC Campaigns Against Anti-Asian Violence, Harassment

The campaign comes as the city celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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The next time you travel through Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood or rent a bike through Capital Bikeshare, you're likely to see signs that read "Hate Stops With Us."

The message is part of a new campaign in D.C. to try to stop violence and harassment against the Asian and Pacific Islander community.

"We have had an unprecedented amount of harassment and violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in D.C. over the course of the pandemic," said Ben de Guzman, the director of the D.C. Mayor's Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

In 2020, a man came into the Valley Brook Tea shop in Dupont Circle yelling about COVID-19 before he pepper-sprayed owner Yunhan Zhang.

D.C. police said they figured out who the man was, but prosecutors declined to press charges. The suspect was never arrested.

"I sort of had this feeling nothing’s probably gonna happen, because it’s hard to find one person in a city this size," Zhang told News4.

Then, last May, a man came into the Meeps clothing store in Adams Morgan.

"You’re a ugly Asian terrorist," the man can be heard saying to store owner Cathy Chung on surveillance footage.

Chung said the man refused to wear a mask and he spit on her as he drove off.

That man was also never arrested.

"That is frustrating. It does make you feel like you are in charge of your own safety," Chung said.

On Tuesday, the D.C. Mayor’s Office of Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, or MOAPIA, said it would support all victims of anti-Asian attacks.

"We feel like our service to the community is an additional layer of engagement with the community to provide that additional support after MPD," de Guzman said.

The group MOAPIA also says it's working with D.C. Public Schools to train teachers about everything that’s going on with anti-Asian hate and to provide resources for teaching students about tolerance in the classroom.

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