A rally against hate crimes toward Asian Americans Sunday night brought a crowd of protesters who say they will no longer stay quiet.
The "Stop Asian Hate" Rally in front of Chandler City Hall was held in response to a mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia last week, where a gunman killed six Asian Americans when he opened fire on three different Asian spas. The shooter said the crime was not racially motivated, yet Valley Asian Americans are still fearful for their safety.
"I never thought there was going to be a moment where I was going to worry about my safety," said Wei Liu, who attended the rally.
"We are not supported as citizens in this country like we should, so we just decided to stand up for ourselves, said Zhe Kang, a Valley resident. "It's very important for the Asian community to have their voice heard."
More than 10% of Chandler's population is of Asian descent. Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, spoke to the crowd in support of the rally.
"I love that there's a group that wants to come together and say not in Chandler," said Mayor Hartke.
According to a study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernadino, hate crimes against Asian Americans increased 149% in 2020.