Asian American attacks focus at City Hall
The police have responded by increasing foot patrols in the highlighted neighborhoods for the next month.
On March 22, Cheng was checking on her daughter who was late coming home on the bus. Standing on the Third and Oakdale Muni platform, she recalls being grabbed from behind, choked and thrown off the 5-foot-high metro stop and into the street.
The impact knocked her unconscious, shattered some of her teeth and left her lying in the path of a bus. The attacker was identified as a 15-year-old African American boy who was charged with robbery. But he threw her to the ground for no apparent reason.
Cheng was just one of the nearly 300 Asian Americans who showed up at City Hall to share story after story about being assaulted, robbed and intimidated. The two hours of testimony were tearful and angry. The need to share their stories was triggered by Cheng's experience; the January beating death of Huan Chen, 83, as he left a bus station at Third Street and Oakdale Avenue; and Tian Sheng Yu, who died after he was punched by an 18-year-old African American man in Oakland.
The stories highlighted what will be a difficult conversation. The speakers said they felt they were being targeted by African American teenage boys.
"I live in constant fear," Cheng wrote in her first interview, which was conducted over e-mail. "I am afraid to go out any more. I can't eat because I have no lower teeth. I have a big lump on the back of my head ... I walk with a limp and need help to move around. I am afraid I may lose my job. I came from China 20 years ago. I came because it offers its people freedom, freedom of speech, good education. How would I have imagined I would become a crime victim? I have lost confidence in America."