Bay Area mobilizes against crimes targeting AAPI community, reward fund created

It was a day of action on both sides of the Bay, mobilizing against crimes targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

We're seeing mobilization on multiple fronts, from taking stock of where San Francisco stands to a new reward fund aimed at catching those who commit hate crimes.

Police, community and business leaders say the increasing number and visibility of crimes targeting the Asian American Pacific Islander community led to their new reward fund.

"We will be launching this new initiate, called Crimes Against Asians Reward Fund, and its sole purpose is to put resources and funding to arrest people who are committing these crimes and who are attacking members of the AAPI community," said Nghia Tran from the Burma Superstar Restaurant Group.

San Francisco's Police Officers Association, and Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce Coming together to announce the fund will be used to offer cash rewards to those who help catch suspects to target members of the AAPI community.

"What we are trying to hope to accomplish is to deter crimes happening in our Asian communities," said Carl Chan from Oakland's Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.

Across the Bay in San Francisco, Supervisor Gordon Mar called for hearing aimed at determining how crimes targeting the AAPI community are evolving and how the city is addressing them.

"Today we will take stock on what our city agencies are doing to prevent violence and crime, support Asian American victims and harmed communities, and how agencies are working with the community," said Supervisor Mar.

Chinese community groups in San Francisco say since March of last year they've tracked close to 3,800 anti-AAPI incidents, 900 of them right here in they Bay Area.

District Attorney Chesa Boudin says so far this year his office has filed charges in six hate crimes, five of them targeting Asian American or Pacific Islander community members.

"We are seeing an uptick in hate crimes that we're filing," said District Attorney Boudin. "We're seeing an uptick hate crimes investigations that are being done effectively by the police."

Police Chief Bill Scott told city leaders the department is actively gathering data, monitoring trends where AAPI community members are targeted, and working to catch the offenders.

"As a department also, we're constantly re-assessing our strategies and inviting our AAPI stakeholders to convene and brainstorm with us," said Chief Scott.

As part of San Francisco's strategy to combat crimes targeting the AAPI community, the police department constantly evaluate and vary their foot patrols in neighborhoods to saturate areas where Asian American Pacific Islander communities have been targeted.