In Broad Daylight, Another Anti-Asian Attack
The attack was especially shocking after a yearlong nationwide surge of violence. The police have arrested a man on a hate crime charge.,
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So far this year, the New York Police Department has received 33 reports of anti-Asian hate crimes, surpassing the total of 28 reported incidents from 2020.
On Monday, another brutal attack was caught on video.
A 65-year-old Filipino immigrant was walking in Midtown Manhattan when a man kicked her in the stomach, knocking her to the ground. The man repeatedly kicked her in the head and told her, “You don’t belong here,” the police said.
The attack, which happened in broad daylight, was especially shocking after a yearlong nationwide surge of anti-Asian violence. Employees in the lobby of a nearby luxury building witnessed it, but none intervened.
Here’s what you need to know:
The police have made an arrest.
Early Wednesday, after an image of the man taken from security footage spread widely on social media and on posters in Manhattan, the police charged Brandon Elliot, 38, with felony assault as a hate crime. Mr. Elliot was released from prison in 2019 and was on lifetime parole after he was convicted of fatally stabbing his mother in 2002, the police said.
The victim of the attack was Vilma Kari, who immigrated from the Philippines decades ago, her daughter said. A man who answered the door at Ms. Kari’s apartment said she was in the hospital recovering from a fractured pelvis.
Bystanders did not intervene in the attack, sparking outrage.
Many of those who watched the security camera footage of the incident were also shocked by the men who watched the attack from inside the luxury apartment building, owned by the Brodsky Organization. The men did not intervene, and a security guard closed the door as Ms. Kari struggled to get up.
The building employees who witnessed the attack were suspended pending an investigation, the company said in a statement.
“When I look at the video, the inaction is what’s heartbreaking,” said Mon Yuck Yu, a health advocate for immigrants in New York. “If you are being attacked, the community will not be standing for you.”
President Biden and other leaders respond.
On Tuesday, President Biden announced several new initiatives to curb anti-Asian bias, which included publishing more frequent data on hate crime incidents. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland told Justice Department employees that the department would prioritize hate crime prosecutions.
Some New York City mayoral candidates condemned the attack.
“This is absolutely disgusting. Asian-Americans belong in New York and are an integral part of our city,” said Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Andrew Yang, who is running to become the city’s first Asian-American mayor, tweeted, “Bystanders need to act when they see something wrong. We need to come together and be the kind of people who do something when someone needs our help.”
From The Times
Want more news? Check out our full coverage.
The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.
What we’re reading
New York City will provide more street cleaning services after a year of cuts to garbage collection. [Gothamist]
Two former city mortuary technicians were accused of stealing credit and debit cards from dead people. [New York Post]
New York lawmakers have passed a bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. [Daily News]
And finally: Partially vaccinated families
The Times’s Sarah Maslin Nir writes:
Burly and well over six feet tall, Andre Duncan takes pride in carrying the groceries for his wife, Michelle, and views himself as her personal bodyguard.
- A torrent of hate and violence against Asian-Americans around the U.S. began last spring, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Community leaders say the bigotry was spurred by the rhetoric of former President Trump, who referred to the coronavirus as the “China virus.”
- In New York, a wave of xenophobia and violence has been compounded by the economic fallout of the pandemic, which has dealt a severe blow to New York’s Asian-American communities. Many community leaders say racist assaults are being overlooked by the authorities.
- In January, an 84-year-old man from Thailand was violently slammed to the ground in San Francisco, resulting in his death at a hospital two days later. The attack, captured on video, has become a rallying cry.
- Eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were killed in the Atlanta massage parlor shootings on March 16. The suspect’s motives are under investigation, but Asian communities across the United States are on alert because of a surge in attacks against Asian-Americans over the past year.
- On March 30, The New York Police Department said it was searching for a man who kicked a 65-year-old woman, stomped on her and made anti-Asian statements.
Now, she is his: Ever since she got the coronavirus vaccine in February, Ms. Duncan, who works in hospital management, has insisted she run their errands alone. When she goes shopping, Mr. Duncan, who is unvaccinated, stays home.
Mr. Duncan, 44, said he feels gratitude but also guilt, and that tension has altered the dynamic of their marriage. “She has to take risks and chances on her own, when that’s my partner, that’s my honey.”
As of this week, over 145 million shots have gone into arms since the vaccine began rolling out in the United States last December. But amid supply chain snarls and inconsistent state-by-state eligibility rules, just 16 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated. As a result, an untold number of households now find themselves divided, with one partner, spouse, parent or adult child vaccinated and others waiting, sometimes impatiently, for their number to come up.
Now, after a year spent navigating job losses and lockdowns, sickness and fear, some families are experiencing the long-awaited arrival of vaccines with not elation or relief, but a fraught combination of confusion, jealousy or guilt.
[Read more about life in a partially vaccinated household.]
“In that moment that I got the vaccine, instead of, ‘I should be so super-happy, I survived this nonsense,’ instead of all that I felt the biggest guilt of my life,” said Lolo Saney, 65, an elementary school teacher who lives in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Her mother, who lives abroad, is still waiting.
In New York, people who hold certain jobs and have certain conditions are eligible. And while people age 30 and older were made eligible this week (and people 16 and older will become eligible next Tuesday), it will be weeks or even months before any number of partners or spouses of nurses or teachers, or those straddling previous age thresholds, are able to secure coveted vaccine appointments.
Some of the newly vaccinated are finding that the tentative return to normalcy is at least partly on hold as they navigate uncharted new worries: how to coexist with and care for relatives, roommates and partners who are not yet vaccinated.
It’s Wednesday — stay safe.
Metropolitan Diary: Heading home
Some years ago, I was returning home on a northbound No. 6. I had gotten on at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall and was happily settled in for the long ride to East 77th Street.
I saw a man who I was pretty sure lived in my building, although we had never been introduced.
“Excuse me,” I said. “Don’t you live in my building?”
His expression suggested that he did not recognize me, but then he brightened.
“What building do you live in?” he asked.