Midland-Odessa Chinese Association speaks on the rise of reported hate crimes against Asian Americans amid COVID-19

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"Sometimes we feel small. So when this happens, we were a little bit helpless and basically terrified."

MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Hate crimes against Asian-Americans are projected to surge as the progression of the coronavirus impacts more communities. This is according to a FBI intelligence report obtained by ABC.

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and Center for American Progress submitted a joint letter, on April 2nd, calling on Mayors and Governors for help. In a statement, they said in part quote: “While many elected officials have denounced this racism, we believe everyone should be united in overcoming COVID-19 and rejecting hate.”

Federal authorities say some citizens are associating the virus with simply “being Asian.” The FBI analysis obtained by ABC cites the March 14th stabbing of an Asian-American family in a Midland Sam’s Club.

It says in part quote: “Three Asian American family members, including a 2-year-old and 6-year-old, were stabbed…The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with the coronavirus.”

“First, our community felt it right away,” said President of Midland-Odessa Chinese Association, Luke Young. “Sometimes we feel small. So when this happens, we were a little bit helpless and basically terrified.”

Young says he has been a proud West Texan for 30 years. He has raised his children in West Texas and works as an anesthesiologist for Odessa Regional Medical Center and Midland Memorial Hospital. Asian-Americans like Young are woven into communities all across the nation.

“We do have people, mothers especially, as you said, have concerns. Now they’re afraid of taking kids back to school, and also worried going to the supermarket. And of course, extremely worried, just by simply wearing a mask.”

To show West Texas that the Asian-American community is one with them, the Midland-Odessa Chinese Association donated medical gear to local officers. Midland County District Attorney, Laura Nodolf, wants Asian communities in West Texas to know this:

“There’s just no excuse. That is the bottom line. There is no excuse for committing a crime based on some type of racial motivation.”

Nodolf says her team fully intends to move forward with the first-degree felony charges against Jose Gomez. Gomez was charged for the Midland Sam’s club stabbing on March 14th. Nodolf says any evidence of hate crime in Midland County enhances the range of punishment to the next level.

“We want to be a part of this, we don’t want to be left behind, and we want to help,” explained Young. “Just like I said at the beginning, we’re proud members of the same family, and what we’re doing is all for one, and one for all.”

District Attorney, Laura Nodolf, encourages every citizen to report suspicious activity. She says one of the biggest lessons we learned after the August 31st mass shooting is the need to enhance our ability to investigate suspicious activity. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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