“This one fact alone highlights the vulnerability, the invisibility, and the isolation of working-class Asian women in our country,” Nguyen mentioned at a Thursday information convention.
“When they go missing, or when they die, the loss of their lives will not incite the same kind of rage. And they won’t even be treated with the same humanity,” she mentioned.
“And in this case, they’ve been characterized as a problem that needed to be eliminated.”
Authorities haven’t but confirmed a motive for the shootings at three Atlanta-area spas, which killed eight individuals — together with six Asian girls. A suspect is in custody.
Atlanta Deputy Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. mentioned Wednesday the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, frequented the 2 Atlanta spas and purchased the gun used within the taking pictures the day of the incident.
President Joe Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff Thursday to honor the victims. Biden additionally plans to go to Atlanta on Friday to satisfy with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, in addition to Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders, in line with Georgia State Rep. Bee Nguyen.
Among the problems they may deliver up is the priority that the shootings be “taken seriously” and significantly thought-about as a hate crime towards Asians and never dismissed because the suspect having a “bad day,” Nguyen mentioned.
Shootings a part of hostility towards Asian Americans
“I feel like that just took it to a whole other extreme,” mentioned Hanna Kim, a trainer from Novi, Michigan.
Nguyen mentioned as a public official, every time anybody disagrees together with her opinion or insurance policies, the very first thing they do is criticize the nation her dad and mom got here from and, second, her gender.
“I have experienced a lot of targeted misogyny, targeted xenophobia, messages of going back to your own country, even though I was born here, raised here, I’ve lived in Georgia almost my entire life. It is very real,” Nguyen mentioned.
“I think culturally, we are not a people that speak out and talk about being victims and I think that’s something that we learn” from earlier generations, Liu mentioned.
Bottoms informed CNN that these days “there seems to be permission now to be hateful.” She’s spent the previous days reaching out to members of the Asian group in Atlanta “to make sure we have all of the information we need to make sure that our communities are protected,” including the dialogue will proceed.
“There seems to be a permission that I’ve not seen, at least in my lifetime,” Bottoms mentioned. “It does predate Donald Trump, but he certainly has given permission and done his part to elevate the hatred.”
Kim, a 24-year-old Korean American, mentioned she usually seems like she has a goal on her again. Last yr, she mentioned a guardian needed to take away considered one of her college students from her second-grade class as a result of Kim was Asian.
“Are people going to say things to me?” Kim mentioned she usually asks herself. “Are people going to avoid me because they think that for some reason I’m going to be the one that’s spreading the virus?”
Yet regardless of outrage over the shootings, assaults towards Asian Americans proceed.
“While we’re relieved the suspect was quickly apprehended, we’re certainly not at peace as this attack still points to an escalating threat many in the Asian American community feel today,” mentioned Margaret Huang, president and CEO of Southern Poverty Law Center.
What we all know concerning the victims
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, of Acworth; Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta; Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw; and Daoyou Feng, 44, have been all fatally shot at Youngs Asian Massage in Cherokee County.
Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, of Acworth, was additionally shot on the spa however survived.
Three extra victims have been discovered useless at Gold Massage Spa in Atlanta, and one other sufferer was discovered useless throughout the road on the Aroma Therapy Spa.
The names of these 4 victims haven’t but been launched by authorities.
Three of the victims have been 52, 75 and 64 years of age, in line with start years listed in an Atlanta police incident report.
“We need to make sure we have a true verification of their identities and that we make the proper next of kin notification,” Hampton mentioned Wednesday.
What we all know concerning the suspect
Long was on his approach to Florida, probably to take the lives of extra victims, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms mentioned, citing investigators.
The suspect informed police he believed he had a intercourse dependancy and that he noticed the spas as “a temptation … that he wanted to eliminate,” Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker mentioned.
But Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant mentioned it’s nonetheless too early to know a motive.
It’s not clear whether or not any of the three companies supplied sexual companies along with massages. But authorities have given no indication the three companies have been working illegally.
Capt. Jay Baker on Tuesday mentioned Long “was pretty much fed up and had been kind of at the end of his rope. Yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.”
Baker is now not the spokesperson for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office’s case investigating the spa taking pictures, the Sheriff’s Office confirmed to CNN.
CNN has reached out to Baker for remark.
Sheriff Frank Reynolds mentioned in an announcement Thursday he has identified and labored with Baker for a few years and his feedback “were not intended disrespect any of the victims, the gravity of this tragedy or express empathy or sympathy for the suspect.”
How the assaults unfolded
Shortly earlier than 5 p.m. Tuesday, deputies have been known as to Youngs Asian Massage between the Georgia cities of Woodstock and Acworth after studies of a taking pictures, Cherokee County sheriff’s officers mentioned.
That taking pictures left 4 individuals — two Asian and two White — useless and one individual injured, Baker mentioned.
About an hour later and 30 miles away, Atlanta police responded to the Gold Massage Spa on Piedmont Road in Atlanta. Police mentioned they discovered three individuals useless.
While there, police acquired one other name of photographs fired throughout the road on the Aroma Therapy Spa, the place they discovered one individual useless, Bryant mentioned.
The names of these 4 victims haven’t but been launched by authorities.
Investigators discovered surveillance video of a suspect close to the Cherokee County scene and revealed photos on social media.
“(The family members) are very distraught, and they were very helpful in this apprehension,” Reynolds mentioned.
‘It can be acceptable’ if the suspect was charged with a hate crime, mayor says
Long has claimed duty for the shootings on the spas, the Cherokee County sheriff’s workplace mentioned.
He is dealing with 4 counts of homicide and a cost of aggravated assault, in line with the county sheriff’s workplace. He additionally has been charged with extra 4 counts of homicide, Atlanta Police Department mentioned.
A regulation enforcement supply informed CNN that Long was lately kicked out of the home by his household as a result of his sexual dependancy, which, the supply mentioned, included incessantly spending hours watching pornography on-line.
“It looked like a hate crime to me,” she mentioned. “This was targeted at Asian spas. Six of the women who were killed were Asian so it’s difficult to see it as anything but that.”
The shootings do not must be racially motivated to represent a hate crime in Georgia.
Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace launched an announcement Thursday saying “we are acutely aware of the feelings of terror being experienced in the Asian-American community.”
“We hear your concerns and want it to be known that these victims will receive the very best efforts of this office,” Wallace mentioned. “We anticipate beginning to meet with the impacted families in the near future, and earn their trust, as we continue to develop our case against the defendant.”
Correction: An earlier model of this story misspelled Xiaojie Tan’s final title primarily based on data supplied by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Stephen Collinson, Audrey Ash, Casey Tolan, Nicquel Ellis, Nicole Chavez, Artemis Moshtaghian, Raja Razek, Jamiel Lynch and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.