A man drove his car through a red light and into a moving crowd at an anti–Asian violence rally in Los Angeles on Sunday while repeatedly yelling “fuck China” in yet another display of anti-Asian racism.
Officials at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department confirmed to BuzzFeed News that they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Footage from the rally in Diamond Bar show a group of people carrying signs and walking across the street when the man, who is in a dark car, drives forward into the crowd and makes a U-turn while screaming “fuck China.”
There were no injuries reported in the incident.
In another video, the man is seen entering his car parked on the side of the road and repeats “fuck China” and “fuck you” to the person filming.
@idalingi, who filmed one of the videos, told BuzzFeed News that the man had pulled over, exited his car briefly, and threatened to return later before leaving.
"The rest of the scene was peaceful, and most passers by supportive and respectful. But I was not there very long," they said.
His California license plate is visible in the videos.
The LASD said Tuesday that they are working on identifying the driver, who they described as a white man in his fifties.
County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who attended the rally and said she had left just minutes before the incident happened, tweeted that she was “disgusted.”
“This kind of racist vitriol happens far too often in our communities and is exactly why so many AAPI residents — and other residents of color — don’t feel safe in their own neighborhoods,” Hahn added.
Diamond Bar is a majority–Asian American and Pacific Islander city in Los Angeles County. About 59% of the population identify as AAPI, according to the US Census Bureau’s numbers from 2019, the most recent available.
There have been a torrent of violent incidents in the US against Asian people, especially Asian elders, in the past few months. Many attacks have been unprovoked, with assailants committing what appear to be abrupt acts of violence.
Last week, a gunman shot and killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at three spas in the Atlanta area.
The violence has prompted a national reckoning on bias and hate against Asian Americans, many of whom have pointed out racist and discriminatory behavior that they’ve endured in the past.
A recent report by the organization Stop AAPI Hate found at least 3,795 reported hate incidents targeting Asian Americans in the past year, from March 2020 to February 2021. The number of actual hate incidents are widely considered to be much higher, and Stop AAPI Hate cautioned that only self-reported attacks were analyzed in its research.