(BIVN) – U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaiʻi) today joined members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Atlanta shootings. The shootings at three Asian-owned spas killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. Hirono spoke at the podium during the event, and later issued the following statement:
“One year after the horrific spa shootings in Atlanta, the increased rise in anti-Asian hate crimes continues to spur fear, anger and grief in the Asian and Pacific Islander community. In remembrance of the women who were murdered in Atlanta, and all victims of verbal abuse, physical attacks and other acts of discrimination, we must work hard to eradicate hate based violence.
“I’m proud to have worked so hard to get the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act signed into law in order to provide the Department of Justice with the tools it needs to combat anti-Asian and all forms of hate crimes and incidents. This law is an important step forward in our fight to end hate crimes, but our work is far from over.
“Everyone in this country deserves to feel safe and welcome in our communities. I will continue to advocate on behalf of our communities to ensure they have the resources and assistance to put an end to these senseless attacks.”
Hirono noted that in May of last year, President Biden signed her COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. “The bipartisan law addresses the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes and violence by assigning a point person at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to expedite the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes, providing support for state and local law enforcement agencies to respond to these hate crimes, and coordinating with local and federal partners to mitigate racially discriminatory language used to describe the pandemic,” Hirono said.