NEW YORK (WPIX) — Hundreds of people gathered in Queens, New York, Sunday to denounce violent crimes against members of the city’s Asian communities.
Demonstrators and rally organizers wanted to send a clear message that they will continue to protect people of all races and religions across the five boroughs.
The crowd marched from Flushing Town Hall in a loop through the neighborhood and passed by a bakery where organizers said an Asian woman was recently injured when she was shoved to the ground.
Protesters chanted “stop Asian hate” as they marched through the streets.
Chinatown resident Blake Bak said the march was a chance for his community to have a voice.
“This externalization of our pain is a great opportunity for us to speak up and show we are people and hurting,” Bak said.
High-profile community leaders and elected officials kicked off the march with powerful messages to those who’ve committed hate crimes. Attorney General Letitia James promised to use the “full force of the law against” anyone committing hate crimes.
“If you hate, get the h–l out of here because you don’t deserve to live in New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The rally and march were also held one day after two separate attacks targeting people of Asian descent in Queens and Brooklyn, according to police. The New York Police Department Hate Crimes Task Force launched investigations into both incidents.
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The first assault happened around 3 p.m. on 99th Street near the border of Corona and Rego Park in Queens, according to the NYPD.
Police said a group of five teens beat a 15-year-old boy and called him “ching chong.”
The boy was treated for minor injuries at a hospital, police said.
Three of the five suspects were arrested, according to the NYPD. An 18-year-old, 15-year-old and 14-year-old were charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment, police said. Hate crime charges could be added, an NYPD spokesperson told NewsNation affiliate WPIX.
Investigators continued to search for the two remaining suspects on Sunday.
Over in Brooklyn, an Asian woman was nearly pushed onto subway tracks around 3:25 p.m. on Saturday, police said.
According to investigators, the 52-year-old victim was at the Myrtle Avenue-Broadway station in Bedford-Stuyvesant when another woman she didn’t know pushed her twice toward the tracks while making anti-Asian statements.
A good Samaritan intervened and prevented the victim from falling onto the tracks, police said.
No arrests had been made in that case as of Sunday afternoon.