LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Dave Ha came to Los Angeles from South Korea as a child.
“I did experience racism throughout my life,” the 26-year-old said. “It’s just very unfortunate right now.”READ MORE: 3 Children Stabbed To Death In Reseda Apartment; Mother Captured In Central California After Going On The Run
Ha said he has become used to the racial slurs people yell at him when he’s out walking or driving around L.A.
“You know, sometimes when I go grab a lunch, someone might yell stuff from the car, and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, it’s one of those,'” he said.
And Ha is not alone. A new report from Stop APPI Hate showed nearly 3,800 racially motivated attacks against Asian Americans were reported from March of last year to February of this year in the United States. And, the group said, that number of likely only a fraction of the attacks that have occurred.
“Here in Los Angeles, it’s extremely troubling because we have 360 incidents,” Munju Kulkarni, executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, said.
Kulkarni took part Thursday in a congressional hearing about anti-Asian hate crimes and what policymakers can do to address the increase.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said the department has acted on the increased reports and has expanded outreach in the last month.
“We hear you, and we see you and we know the pain,” he said. “Those that wish to prey upon communities or individuals of other communities will be aggressively pursued.”READ MORE: Historic Flight Of NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Postponed Several Days Due To Technical Issue
He also announced that the department had partnered with the Just Say Hello campaign, which tries to bridge the growing racial divide with simple acts of outreach.
“We’ve got another effort by the department to join in with other community organizations,” Moore said.
And while attacks on Asian Americans has been on the rise throughout the pandemic, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles CEO Connie Chung Joe said there was a surge following November’s election.
When asked if Asian Americans were afraid to walk down a Koreatown street, she said they were absolutely afraid.
“I mean, we had a physical attack on an Asian American man just, I think, two blocks from where you’re standing right now that had left him beaten and his nose fractured,” she said.
That Feb. 16 incident resulted in Denny Kim, a United States Air Force veteran, filing a police report after his friend showed up and scared the attackers away.
“Definitely glad I was there,” Joseph Cha said. “Thankful to God I was there.”
Advocates say every attack against a member of the Asian community is an attack against the entire community.MORE NEWS: 6-Year-Old Boy Wounded After Gunfire Erupts At Sun Valley Apartment Complex; Female Suspect Sought
LAPD also reminded residents who experience or witness a suspected hate crime that they can confidentially report it by calling 211.