Identified as Derrick Johnson, the 40-year-old man approached the two women inside the Rockefeller Center subway station in Manhattan on May 8. Johnson allegedly yelled “You f**king Chinese. I don’t know why you’re here in America,” law enforcement sources confirmed to the New York Post.
He not only hurled slurs at them but doused them in an unknown liquid, pushed one to the ground, and spat on her.
The woman in her mid-twenties experienced “significant bruising” and had “substantial pain and swelling” in her head and jaw, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement on Wednesday. It is unclear if the other woman suffered any physical injuries.
“The rise of bias-driven crimes is unacceptable,” Bragg said. “We are expanding our Office’s Hate Crimes Unit to enhance these prosecutions while increasing community engagement and other preventative measures.”
Johnson was later arrested on May 27 after attacking two officers who were attending to a man in Chelsea. In that incident, he reportedly attacked one of the officers and hit her in the face repeatedly.
According to public records, he was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and will remain at Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward in Manhattan on a $15,000 bail or a $30,000 bond.
He is expected to appear in court on Aug. 16.
New York has seen a rise in bias-based crimes with people not only being attacked in the streets but pushed onto subway tracks, and harassed for their gender, race, and religion. According to the New York Police Department, more than 300 hate crimes have occurred this year alone.
Acknowledging the rise in violent crimes, New York City Mayor Eric Adams held a press conference this week noting that violent criminals do not represent the city.
“I don’t think this dangerous person is a reflection on New York. Sometimes we look at the worst among us and define it as our city. The average New Yorker gives the homeless a helping hand, they do not use their hands to assault them,” Adams said at the press conference.
A national study found that not only did violence against the AAPI community increase by 339% in 2021compared to the previous year, but Asian Americans are changing their daily routines out of fear of violence.
Additionally, data released by the FBI found that hate crimes targeting people of Asian descent in the U.S. rose by 70% last year when compared to the number of such incidents in 2019. The report found that more than 10,000 people reported hate crimes to law enforcement, the highest tally of reported hate crimes since 2008.
The AAPI community needs our support now more than ever. Hate is the real virus, and we cannot let it continue. Daily Kos has compiled resources to help our community stand united against racism. Help us put an end to this hate.