By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles authorities are investigating a possible hate crime after a man recklessly drove through a red light into a crosswalk where protesters were marching in a “Stop Asian Hate” rally.
The man yelled racial epithets as he rammed his car through the pedestrian route where the scheduled rally was taking place on Sunday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office confirmed to ABC News on Tuesday.
“Based on what we have learned, this is being investigated as a hate crime,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a tweet.
Based on what we have learned, this is being investigated as a hate crime. https://t.co/HTKAq2Fr7R
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) March 23, 2021
Parts of the incident, which occurred in the Diamond Bar area, were captured on videos posted to social media. In the videos, the man in the car is seen exiting his vehicle and yelling “F— China” at the demonstrators.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
The sheriff’s office identified the suspect as a white male in his 50s, and said that his license plate was captured on video footage from the rally.
Rallies condemning anti-Asian racism occurred at cities across the country over the weekend, following the murders of six Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia. Reports of anti-Asian hate incidents have skyrocketed over the past year, with many linking them to biases related to the pandemic and the Trump administration’s incendiary language.
“The brazenness of doing this at an Anti-Hate rally speaks to the level that people will go to harass and bully communities of color,” County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement to ABC News’ Los Angeles station KABC.
Multiple car-ramming incidents occurred this past summer during the separate nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd, resulting in the death of one demonstrator in Seattle, Washington.
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