BC premier speaks out against hate crimes after six Asian women killed in US attack

Mar 17 2021, 9:03 pm

BC Premier John Horgan addressed anti-Asian hate crimes in BC following Tuesday night’s deadly shooting spree in Atlanta, Georgia, that killed eight people, six of them Asian women.

Horgan tweeted about the tragedy on Wednesday morning, adding that BC is not immune to anti-Asian hate crimes.

“Violence that targets women is hate. Violence that targets the Asian community is hate. There’s no excuse,” wrote Horgan.

“We have seen hate here in our province, and we must all stand against it – wherever, and whenever it occurs.”

On Tuesday night, a white gunman attacked three Atlanta-area massage parlours and spas, killing eight victims, six of whom were Asian women. On Wednesday, the Atlanta Police Department charged the 21-year-old suspect with eight counts of murder.

In a news conference, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said authorities “are not there as of yet” in determining if the shootings were hate crimes.

The shootings come at a time when anti-Asian hate crimes in the US increased 150% in 2020.

New research released by the non-profit Stop AAPI Hate shows there were nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents in the US reported between March 19, 2020, to February 28, 2021.

Closer to home, the Vancouver Police Department reported last month that anti-Asian hate crimes in the city skyrocketed in 2020, increasing 717% compared to 2019.

At the time, Premier Horgan called the trend “deeply troubling.”

He also addressed the statistics in a February press conference where he provided some more details about his government’s plan to bring forward new anti-racism legislation this year.

“We need to make sure that violence against people of colour is not just treated as violence, but in fact, as hate crimes, which carry much stiffer penalties,” he said. “These concerns were raised 12 months ago, and they have continued to persist.”

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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