Lena Hernandez was released on a $1 bail
Asian American organisations are hosting a Torrance rally to mark 1 month after the racist park incident.
Last month Lena Hernandez was caught harassing an Asian woman who was exercising in a park in Torrance. “Get the fuck out of the state,” Hernandez said. “Go back to whatever fucking Asian country you belong in.”
Hernandez was also caught on camera in another incident involving an Asian American man who visited the park with his children on the same day.
The racist woman who harassed Asians in Torrance has been arrested for a separate crime but was subsequently released on a $1 bail.
On Saturday 11 July, the rally will be held at Torrance’s Wilson Park – the same park in which Hernandez harassed the Asian woman. The rally is organised by victims of racist attacks and supporters.
The coalition of organizations, including the South Bay Japanese American Citizens League, have issued a letter to Torrance officials, listing demands for justice.
“We are asking how Torrance can create a better and safer city in cooperation with the public, business and city services,” Masaru Kent Kawai, president of the South Bay JACL said.
“Creating a police commission,” Kawai added, “would be an important step to move forward.”
Other groups that signed the letter include Pacific Southwest District Japanese American Citizens League, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, and the Media Action Network for Asian Americans.
The letter demands that the city should “immediately”:
- File additional charges against the Long Beach woman for the June 10 incident; and
- Direct a police commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission at the next Torrance City Council meeting to recommend a plan to “improve the quality of life at all parks and recreational facilities,” ensuring they are “free from hate and harassment.”
In a recent report, it was revealed that 43% of Chinese Canadians have faced racist Coronavirus threats.
“Why can a person in New York City caught on video for making a false report to police against an African American be charged, but racist language caught on video against Asian Americans is considered insufficient evidence to file charges?” the groups said in a press release.
The groups also questioned why Hernandez was “charged in one crime not on video, but not for the other two caught on video?”
“The people,” the groups wrote, “demand answers.”
Torrance Mayor Pat Furey said he shared “the outrage of our Asian/Asian Pacific Islander community concerning the recent hateful attacks.”
“Any such conduct that rises to the level of a crime will be prosecuted,” said Furey,
“However, I also must remind folks that the First Amendment protects the speech rights of people — even hateful and vile words.”
“I firmly believe that the diversity and inclusiveness of Torrance is one of our greatest assets,” he added.
Rally supporters are advised to wear black on the day as well as appropriate face masks to protect against Coronavirus.
In related news, an elderly Asian employee bravely stood his ground against a racist customer who refused to wear a Coronavirus mask.