(AP Photo/John Hanna)
A white 21-year-old named Robert Aaron Long killed eight people, six of who were Asian women. Long claims he is a sex addict, and many lawmakers have said it is “too early” to decide if the killings count as a hate crime. This decision to wait has caused backlash all over the country.
What was the official police response?
The Cherokee County Sherriff’s Office has made statements alluding to the killings being crimes of opportunity. Police acknowledged signs of racial motivations but concluded that it is too early to tell. Jay Baker, the spokesperson of the shooting’s investigation, came under fire for racist t-shirts he posted on Facebook. These t-shirts said things such as “Covid 19 Imported Virus From Chy-na.” The department soon removed Baker from his spokesperson position.
Asian Community Response?
One group, Stop AAPI Hate, has received over 3,800 reports of hate-fueled incidents. Asian parents are scared to send their kids to school, and Asians around the country have called the attacks “horrifying.”