Dear Commons Community,
A 65-year-old Filipino woman was walking down a street near Times Square when a man, in broad daylight, suddenly kicked her in the stomach (see video above).
She crumpled to the sidewalk. He kicked her once in the head. Then again. And again. He yelled an obscenity at her, according to a police official, and then said, “You don’t belong here.”
As the violent scene unfolded in Manhattan, three men watched from the lobby of a nearby luxury apartment building. When the woman struggled to stand up, one of the men, a security guard, closed the front door to the building. As reported by Eyewitness News in New York.
“…as reports of anti-Asian hate crimes have escalated in recent weeks, the video above released by police officials on Monday evening touched a fresh nerve. The sheer brazenness of the attack — combined with the seeming indifference of the bystanders — caused another wave of fear for many Asian-Americans already worn down by a steady drumbeat of assaults.
Security guards failed to intervene while a man kicked and stomped on a 65-year-old woman near Times Square, yelling, “You don’t belong here.”
“This feels like an emergency happening in real time over weeks,” said Chris M. Kwok, a board member of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. “People are in a state of panic. Everybody is on edge.”
Early Wednesday, after an image of the man taken from security footage spread widely on social media and on posters in Manhattan, the police charged Brandon Elliot, 38, with felony assault as a hate crime. Mr. Elliot was released from prison in 2019 and was on lifetime parole after he was convicted of fatally stabbing his mother in 2002, the police said.
As the video went viral online, the attack provoked a torrent of condemnations from public officials and seemed to underscore the difficulty the government faces in curbing unprovoked assaults against Asian-Americans.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Monday’s attack “absolutely disgusting and outrageous” and urged New Yorkers to intervene when they see assaults. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said it was “horrifying and repugnant” and ordered the state police to help investigate. Andrew Yang, who is seeking to become New York City’s first Asian-American mayor, said he was heartbroken by the frequency of the attacks and advised Asian-Americans to walk outside in pairs.
This is indeed outrageous both for the attack and the indifference of the three security guards.
We cannot have this anyplace let alone in the center of New York City!