Dallas saloon shooting may be linked to broader attacks on Asian businesses

No one has been arrested in either case.

The community where the saloon shooting took place is known as the Asian Trade District and is located within the city’s Koreatown. It’s home to a growing Asian-American population, and signs for Korean beauty salons and Korean barbecue shops can be seen along busy Royal Lane.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up nearly 4 percent of Dallas’s population, or 48,278 people, according to the US Census.

The Dallas Police Department has long had a unit made up of officers who speak languages ​​such as Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog, as part of an effort to address crime problems in Asian neighborhoods. Despite these efforts, police officials said many crimes against Asian Americans remain unreported.

Chief Garcia said Friday that the department would increase patrols in the city’s Asian neighborhoods. “Hate has no place here,” he said.

Across the country, there was a worrying wave of crime against Asian Americans at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with 279 “bias incidents” in 2020, up from 158 in 2019, according to data released by the FBI.

An organization that collects data on bias crimes against Asian Americans, Stop AAPI Hate, said it had received 10,905 reports of hate-related attacks from March 2020 through the end of last year. Verbal harassment made up the majority of reported attacks, followed by physical attacks, according to the organization.

Dallas elected officials said they were committed to supporting the city’s Asian community.

“The Southeast Asian and Asian community in North Texas is growing and has great cultural and political importance, and I am really saddened by anything that makes them feel like a persecuted demographic here,” said state Sen. Nathan Johnson, a Democrat representing the area.

The fact that a beauty salon was targeted inspired initial comparisons to the high-profile murders in the Atlanta area last year, when a gunman went on a rampage at three spas, killing eight people, most of them women of Asian descent. The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, who was 21 at the time, later told police that he had frequented similar massage parlors because he had a “sexual addiction” and that he had carried out the shootings to eliminate his ” temptation”.

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