The Dallas police chief is under fire for prematurely reporting that the killing of three Korean women in a living room was not a hate crime, but then backtracked on his comment saying the incident ” could be motivated by hate”.
On Wednesday, a man walked into an Asian-run business and fired multiple bullets, shooting three Korean women. All victims sustained non-fatal injuries.
At the time, police said they had no evidence the incident was a hate crime, but after reviewing related incidents they believe it could be linked to two other recent shootings. businesses run by Asians.
Unfortunately, anti-Asian hate crimes are on the rise across the country. Just months ago, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said his office’s hate crimes unit was prosecuting more hate crimes involving anti-Asian incidents than it has since. the launch of the task force more than ten years ago. And on the other coast, a San Francisco man has been charged with hate crimes after he targeted Asian-owned businesses with a slingshot.
A survey showed that perceptions of Asian Americans are “deteriorating in the United States,” LAAUNCH (Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change) said in a recent Tweeter.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie García held a press conference on Friday, saying further investigation into Wednesday’s shooting revealed that the three shootings may have been linked.
“The reason we want to do this presentation and speak to our community is the possibility that it could be motivated by hate,” García said. “I don’t think we can just attract him to our Korean community, but to our Asian community.”
Community members are upset that it took police so long to connect the incidents and that the department was so quick to rule out the shooting as a hate crime.
“Thinking about the shooting of Korean American women yesterday in Dallas [plus] white guys need to explain immediately THIS IS NOT A HATE CRIME they say…” tweeted Korean-American writer Marie Myung-Ok Lee.
Another Twitter user questioned the police chief’s motives.
“So why did he even say it wasn’t?” the user asked. “It’s very irresponsible and dangerous to make these statements. Does he have other plans?”
The three shootings went as follows:
- On April 2, 2022, a shopping center at 2208 Royal Lane, staffed primarily by Asian businesses, was the target of a drive-by shooting. Witnesses say they saw a man flee the scene in a red minibus. According to the police, no one was injured.
- On May 10, a suspect in a burgundy van shot an Asian business in the area of 4849 Sunnyvale St. García said three people were in the building but no one was injured.
- The next day, the Korean living room shooting took place. A witness described a black man, dressed in all black, leaving the scene in a brown van.
Garcia seemed to take the criticism head on and focus on connecting.
“I think it’s an amazing job for them [Dallas Crime Analysis Unit] to have been able to tie this together,” Garcia said. “A lot of times it takes that long…Instead of being glad we didn’t tie them sooner, I’m very lucky that our men and women who are working hard have put it together so that we can clarify some things and, in abundance of caution, give our community a heads up.”
In response to the shooting, the Dallas Police Department will add more camera trailers to certain areas and increase officer patrols in Asian communities. Dallas police also appealed to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force for assistance.
Garcia added that the department had scheduled a Korean-American town hall meeting on security early next week.
A $5,000 reward is offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and charge. Anyone with information regarding the crime should contact detectives at 214-671-3523.
Newsweek contacted the Dallas Police Department for comment.