San Francisco, CA

Solidarity With The Two Elderly Asian Americans Attacked in San Francisco

Amancay Tapia

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Photo by Roxann-C from Unsplash

Grandmother Xiao Zhen Xie, 75, was minding her own business at a San Francisco intersection waiting to cross the street. Out of the blue, and for no reason whatsoever, a young man ran up to her and violently punched her face. She retaliated.

In a video of the aftermath of the assault, Xiao Zhen Xie, points to the wooden plank she used to hit him back while trying to protect herself.

Footage of the desperate grandmother crying, while holding an ice pack up to her bleeding eye as police arrest her attacker, prompted thousands of people to stand together in solidarity with the victim and donate to a GoFundMe page set up by Xie’s grandson, John Chen.

Xiao Zhen Xie fundraising page has raised more than $649,000,with over 22,500 people in the United States and many people from 55 countries worldwide donating. Donors shared messages of support.

One said; “No Grand Mother should have to go through this kind of hate”.

SFPD has confirmed the arrest of Steven Jenkins, 39, who is not only responsible for assaulting Xiao Zhen Xie, but also the attacker of 83-year-old Ngoc Pham, a Vietnamese American man who was shopping at the local farmers market when he was assaulted.

Mr Jenkins faces charges of assault and elder abuse and is due in court March 23.His attorney, is Asian-American San Francisco deputy public defender, Eric McBurney.

Witnesses of the attacks told police that Steven Jenkins was first involved in a fight in U.N. Plaza before he attacked the two elderly victims. About 30 minutes after he was involved in the physical altercation, he approached Ngoc Pham, who was in the farmer’s market near U.N.Plaza, and assaulted him. He then fled the area and attacked Xie who retaliated with a wooden plank.

The Community Youth Center of San Francisco has also set up a fundraising page for Pham to help him with medical costs. According to their page, Ngoc Pham is still in hospital as he is suffering from a nose fracture and neck injuries.

The attacks on the elderly in San Francisco and the Bay Area have shaken the community. Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom joined local Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders in San Francisco to condemn the spike of violent acts committed against Asian people .

At the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and others called for an end to anti-Asian violence.

Newsom who grew up in in San Francisco and was the 42nd mayor of the city between 2004 and 2011 showed his appreciation and support for Asian American community.

“The idea that we are, today in 2021, still having conversations we were having in 1881, a year before the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1881, is painful and infuriating at the same time”

Newsom then added; “What the hell is wrong with us?”

Mayor London Breed,who was also present at yesterday’s event, appreciated Gov.Gavin Newsom support to the community. She said via twitter;

“There’s a lot of pain and fear right now in our API community. I appreciate Gov. Gavin Newsom coming to Chinatown to meet with community leaders and residents on how we can stand together to combat the hatred and discrimination we’re seeing throughout the country and here in SF.

Quoting the words of the California governor, what the hell is wrong with us?, what the hell is wrong with those who attack others for no reason? where are we failing as parents and educators in creating adults that then abuse and attack the vulnerable, the elderly, and those minding their own bussiness?

Racist and hate crimes can be reported to Stop AAPI Hate and to the California Department of Justice

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