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Atlanta police will not comment on whether spa killings were hate crimes but will say they are investigating

As my colleague David Neiwert pointed out, referring to Robert Aaron Long’s rejection of anti-Asian motives, Long’s statement of his intention to address women whom he viewed as a source of temptation is “de facto evidence of a gender bias against women, one of them is the motive category under the federal and georgian hate crime laws. “However, it is much more professional for the police to refuse to comment on the details of an investigation than to offer the suspect’s explanations of motivations at face value, as the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has done.

Captain Jay Baker, the sheriff’s office spokesman, who politely stated on Wednesday that Long “was pretty fed up, kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and he did. “ is no longer the spokesperson on this case, and the sheriff issues a statement saying Baker did A difficult job ahead of him, and this was one of the most difficult of his 28 years in law enforcement. “Baker’s words, according to the sheriff,” were not intended to be used by any of the victims to disregard the gravity of this tragedy or to express empathy or sympathy for the suspect. “

Not a word in that statement about how we should understand Baker’s previous anti-Asian Facebook post.

Cherokee County’s law enforcement officers clearly miss the reality here, regardless of their intentions.

“Law enforcement and society in general tend to really fail to understand how racism, hatred, and prejudice are directed against Asian American women, and certainly fail to understand how they are directed against Asian American women,” said the activist and author Helen Zia to the New York Times. “So the immediate response is generally to devalue and discard them.”

Zia told the newspaper that hate crimes against women of Asian descent are under counted because they are so often sexual in nature and are recorded as sex crimes rather than hate crimes even though they are both. We seem to be watching this in real time this week.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had already scheduled a visit to Georgia on Friday to promote the benefits of the American bailout. They changed this plan to use the visit instead to “Meet with Asian-American leaders to discuss the ongoing attacks and threats against the community, meet with fellow local leaders, and visit the Disease Control Centers for an update from the team of health and medical experts to help fight the pandemic. ”

The House Democrats spoke out on anti-Asian American hatred at a hearing on Thursday.

“I have a responsibility and a moral obligation to speak up,” said Rep. Doris Matsui, who was born in a Japanese-American detention center. “There is a systemic problem here. And we have an obligation to stop racist ideas that escalate into physical threats. “

“Our church is bleeding. We are in pain. And we’ve been screaming for help for a year, ”said Rep. Grace Meng.

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