Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
A hate crime, as defined by the United States Congress is "a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person."
April 30, 2000: Anil Thakur, 31; Thao Q. “Tony” Pham, 27, Ji-Ye Sun, 34, Richard Baumhammers was charged in a shooting spree which killed five people including three Asian Americans, one African American, one Jewish woman and critically wounded another South Asian American. On Baumhammer’s computer, investigators found a document calling for the creation of “The Free Market Party: dedicated to the concerns of European Americans.” The document calls for lower taxes, an end to Third World immigration, an end to affirmative action, reduced foreign aid, and proposed making English the official language.
August 10, 1999: Joseph “JoJo” Ileto, 39, a Pilipino American postal carrier in Los Angeles, was shot nine times in the chest and back of the head by Buford Furrow. Furrow said he killed Ileto because he looked Asian or Hispanic and because he was a federal employee making him “a good target of opportunity.” Earlier that day, Furrow also sprayed 70 bullets into a Jewish community center wounding five. Based upon a book found in Furrow’s van, police believe that he was carrying out a white-supremacist self-initiation ritual. Furrow had ties to Aryan Nations and The Order dating back a decade. The U.S. Attorney has filed hate crime murder charges against Furrow.
July 4, 1999: Won Joon Yoon, 26, a Korean graduate student in Indiana, was shot as he was leaving church by Benjamin Smith, a white supremacist associated with the World Church of the Creator. Smith had distributed flyers claiming the white race was being crowded out by Jews, blacks and “mud people,” his derogatory term for Asians. Smith also killed Ricky Byrdsong, an African American, and shot at Orthodox Jews and other Asians including an Asian American couple and Asian American students at the University of Illinois, wounding one in the leg. Smith killed himself later that day.
April 5, 1999: Naoki Kamijima, 48, a Japanese American shopowner, was shot to death in his own store in Crystal Lake, near Chicago. The gunman was searching stores for people of certain ethnicities before finding and shooting Mr. Kamijima. Mr. Kamijima is survived by his wife and two teen-agers.
October 15, 1998: Mukesh Patel, 35, Kanu Patel, 28, and Ashvin Patel, 44, were working at an all-night Dunkin’ Donuts in Maryland when Trone Tyrone Ashford hit them with his shotgun and shot them after taunting them about their poor command of English. Ashford then poured gasoline through the store and left the store a burning inferno. Ashvin Patel was rescued by firefighters and survived numerous gunshot wounds though he has lost use of his left hand. Kanu Patel had just married 10 months earlier. Mukesh Patel leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 6 and 13. Ashford was sentenced to two terms of life in prison without possibility of parole.
April 29, 1997: Kuan Chung Kao, 33, a Chinese American engineer, was shot by Rohnert Park police Jack Shields and Mike Lynch responding to a call for disturbing the peace. Based upon his ethnicity and his carrying a stick, Shields believed Kao to be a martial arts expert and killed him within 34 seconds of arriving at the Kao home. Mr. Kao leaves behind a wife and three children. Shields was never criminally charged and is still on the Rohnert Park police force today. The Asian Law Caucus represents the family on a federal civil rights lawsuit set for trial in late 2000.
May 3, 1996: Thien Minh Ly, 24, a Vietnamese American with a masters degree from Georgetown, died after being stabbed more than 24 times at a neighborhood tennis court by two “white supremacist types” as described by the police. Gunner Lindberg later bragged to a friend, “Oh, I killed a Jap a while ago.” Lindberg was sentenced to the death penalty.
November 8, 1995: Eddy Wu, a Chinese American, is attacked outside a supermarket in Novato, Calif., by an attacker who reportedly tells police that he wanted to “kill a Chinaman.” Robert Page pleads guilty to attempted murder as a hate crime and is sentenced to 11 years in prison.
June 18, 1995: Thanh Mai, 23, was with two other Vietnamese American friends at a nightclub in Alpine Township, Michigan, when he was accosted by a group of young white males calling him a “gook.” When Mai tried to walk away, Michael Hallman hit him in the face causing him to fall to the ground with such force that his skull split open. Mai died five days later from major head trauma. The prosecutor declined to file hate crimes charges and Hallman was convicted of manslaughter with a sentence of only two to 15 years.
May 1994: Tuong Phan, a Vietnamese American was outside his home in Westminster, Calif., when a man yelling racial slurs beats him with a four-foot long stick. Juan Jimenez is later charged with assault as a hate crime.
August 14, 1993: Sophy Soeung and Sam Nhang Nhem, two Cambodian Americans who were attacked outside their apartment by several white men who call them “gooks.” Nhem dies shortly afterward. Harold Latour is found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Two others are also charged in Soeung’s beating.
August 15, 1992: Luyen Phan Nguyen, 19, a Vietnamese American pre-med student in Coral Springs, Fla., was beaten to death by a mob of white youths who called him “Chink” and “Viet Cong.” In that case, Bradley Mills is sentenced to 50 years in prison. In 1994, William Madalone, Terry Jamerson and Christopher Anderson are convicted of second-degree murder.
July 29, 1989: Jim Loo, a Chinese American, is shot outside a pool hall in Raleigh, N.C. His two white assailants, Lloyd and Robert Piche, allegedly shouted: “We shouldn’t put up with Vietnamese in our country.” Robert Piche is sentenced to 37 years behind bars; Lloyd’s sentence is 4 years.
1983: Thong Huynh, a Vietnamese high school student is stabbed to death in Davis, Calif., by a white student after being taunted by a group of whites. The defendant, a minor, is convicted of manslaughter.
1982: Vincent Chin, a Chinese American when after a bachelor party, is beaten to death with a baseball bat in Highland Park, Mich., by Ronald Ebens and his stepson Michael Nitz, two white, laid-off autoworkers who think Chin is Japanese. Nitz and Ebens get probation and a $3,000 fine in state court. They are later tried in federal court for having violated Chin’s civil rights. Ebens is convicted, but the decision is overturned on appeal in 1986. He pleads guilty in a wrongful death settlement in 1987.