Speaking Out Against Racially Motivated Attacks on the Lower East Side

April 9, 2010

On April 9th, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh joined Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez for a press conference at City Hall to speak out against the incidents on the Lower East Side that occurred between March 31st and April 6th at the Baruch and Gompers Houses, in which Asian women between the ages of fifty and seventy-one were attacked.

Police have received reports of five such incidents, four at Baruch Houses and one at Gompers Houses, and are investigating the incidents as hate crime because no money was taken and the women seemed to have been selected at random based on their race. The 7th Precinct and Police Service Area (PSA) 4 have stepped up patrols in the area.

Kavanagh addressed the community at the press conference: “We come together today to say that we are very troubled by what appears to be a pattern of harassment and physical violence against people in our community because of their Asian heritage. While the incidents are still under investigation, we want to make it clear that we take the safety of all residents and visitors to our community very seriously, and that we especially will not tolerate threats and violence that are motivated by racial bias. We call on all people of good will to cooperate in the investigation and to work with us to maintain the peace and to promote the mutual respect that allows our diverse Lower East Side community to thrive.”