Councilmember Mark Treyger hosted a rally Monday to condemn the attack on an 89-year-old Asian-American woman who was set on fire by two men in Bensonhurst last month.
The rally took place outside Treyger’s office at 2015 Stillwell Ave.
“I am committed to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including charging this act as a hate crime,” said Treyger, who was joined by community leaders and elected officials.
Treyger cited a Pew Research Center study that said four in 10 Asian adults in the U.S. have reported being subjected to racial slurs, bias or discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anti-Chinese flyers referring to the pandemic were posted in southern Brooklyn neighborhoods in June.
“Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, we have seen an increase in the number of violent incidents and hate crimes against the Asian community,” said Don Lee, board chair of Homecrest Community Services. “We cannot allow these attackers to go without punishment. We must see the perpetrators of this attack swiftly brought to justice and send the message that any bias attack will not be tolerated.”
“We must maintain the diverse culture of our population and we will not let this kind of act divide our beloved community,” said Stephanie Wong, president of the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn. “That is why we need to support the police officers and work with elected officials to ensure the problem is solved to keep our communities safe as well as to improve the quality of life for our community members.”
“The victim is older than my mother,” said Nancy Tong, Democratic leader of the 47th Assembly District. “I can’t bear to think how I would react if someone attempted to set her on fire. The actions of the two men are absolutely despicable and we must bring justice to that woman and her family and show everyone in NYC and in America that crimes like these in today’s day and age are a relic of the past.”