Atlanta Shooting Sparks Outrage In Asian Community
By: Alexa Hernandez- La Rosa, reporter
In the afternoon of Tuesday, March 16th, tragedy struck a community. 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long was arrested Tuesday night as a suspect of a massacre that had targeted Asian-American spas.
Long had gone into Tan’s Cherokee County spa where he shot four victims. About an hour later, four more were killed at two other spas nearby.
Six of the victims were Asian women, and Long had previously posted racist remarks towards minorities on his Facebook in regards to COVID-19.
Long has been charged with four counts of murder and is currently being held without opportunity for bail in Cherokee County.
The County’s sheriff spoke about the incident and said it was still too early to know the suspect’s motive, but he believes that it was not a hate crime against Asians specifically.
This sparked a lot of outrage within the Asian community. Many felt this was a clear hate crime, especially with the notable anti-Asian crime that has been circulating lately.
"The acknowledgment that this was a crime built upon hatred for particular community matters and I think that it's important that prosecutors and police consider that in making those charges," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN.
Many had rallied to show support for the Asian community. Jack Liang, one of the organizers for a protest in New York, spoke about the officer’s ruling.
"He went to three... separate locations, and he targeted these people," Liang said. "And if it was another race, another type of hate crime, another person, would that be counted as a hate crime?"
While the official motives of the suspect are still being sorted, this tragedy has raised the media’s attention towards the minority group and how they have been treated. It’s important to raise awareness and educate others to prevent similar tragedies from happening.
There have been multiple rallies and protests against the growing hate crimes committed against the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community.
Photo Credit: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/people-across-u-s-protest-anti-asian-hate-following-deadly-n1261677