Members of B.C. Asian community call for charges in Richmond hate incident
Published Sunday, May 23, 2021 6:29PM PDT Last Updated Sunday, May 23, 2021 7:12PM PDT
RICHMOND, B.C. -- Members of B.C.’s Asian community are calling for charges to be laid over an anti-Asian hate incident in Richmond.
Speakers gathered at Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line station on Sunday to voice concerns over the lack of charges in the incident, as well as the rise of discrimination against the Asian community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The incident in question happened in March. Nikki, the manager of Rocanini Coffee Roasters in Steveston who asked that only her first name be used, says she was targeted by two customers after asking them to move to another table.
“I came here, talked to them very nicely, asked them if they could move to another table, because they have the protocols here, and I have to follow it,” she told CTV News at the time, adding that the customers ignored her the first few times she asked. first few times they ignored her.
“I ask(ed) one more time, but this last time pissed them off,” she said.
Security video from inside the shop shows the couple pouring drinks on the ground, and then heading to the exit.
“When they walked past by me, the lady was actually pouring the leftover coffee right on my face and my body, and said something, ‘F*** you Chinese,'” Nikki said.
She followed the couple outside and began taking a video with her cellphone.
In the video, a man in a blue sweater opens a car door for a woman with her hair in a ponytail, as a voice is heard asking him what his wife said.
At the start of May, Richmond RCMP recommended a mischief charge against the woman involved, but the charge has not been approved by Crown.
Ivan Pak, of the group Stop Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, said on Sunday that the group wants both people involved charged.
“We want justice for both suspects because we think they’re co-offenders,” Pak said.
A petition calling for charges to be laid has gathered more than 5,000 signatures.
Richmond resident Edward Zhang also spoke at Sunday’s event.
“What makes me angry as a citizen of Richmond is these things are happening everywhere, especially, especially after COVID,” Zhang told the crowd. “There has been discrimination and hate crimes against the Asian community and yet no one is speaking up.”
The event came the same day the province announced a new initiative, Anti-Racism Awareness Week. The government says it promises to “promote educational opportunities and highlight tools and resources” that can be used in classrooms, workplaces and elsewhere.
In a news release, Attorney General David Eby said: “We stand alongside every person who has faced, or continues to face, racism in our province. This week is a chance for all British Columbians to think about how we can be anti-racist, challenge our own biases and build a stronger province on a foundation of diversity and mutual respect.”