‘Horrific and Heinous’: County Leaders Express Outrage, Show Solidarity With Asian American Community

In light of the March 16 shooting spree in Atlanta that left eight people dead, including six Asian women, local and state leaders are speaking out against hate crimes, particularly among the Asian American community which has seen an uptick in incidents during the pandemic.

However, Georgia officials said it was too early to say what the suspect’s motive was and could possibly be due to a sex addiction.

According to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021, there have been 3,795 incidents in the United States that were reported to its call center, which it called “only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur.”

Of those incidents, 58% were labeled verbal harassment and 20.5% were called shunning, in which Asian Americans were deliberately avoided. Also, according to AAPI, women reported hate incidents 2.3 times more frequently than men.

In Montgomery County, between March 1, 2020 and Feb. 26, 2021, there were seven anti-Asian bias incidents reported to Montgomery County Police. During that same period, there were 37 anti-Black bias incidents and 30 anti-Jewish incidents reported to MCPD.

“Our condolences and sympathies are with the family, friends, and communities of the victims of our nation’s latest senseless mass shooting last night in Georgia,” County Executive Marc Elrich wrote in a statement.

“The AAPI community enriches the fabric of our nation and specifically here in Montgomery County. They should not and shall not continue to live in fear,” he wrote, noting that the county is reaching out to communities experiencing hate-based crimes, “including increasing patrols around their neighborhoods and businesses – to assist in their security, peace of mind and for them to feel as safe as possible in this County.”

Delegate Lily Qi tweeted, “This must stop. Horrific and heinous.”

Below are some expressions of horror and sympathy others leaders tweeted Wednesday.

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