- Two men in separate cities were charged with hate crimes for anti-Asian incidents.
- The charges come as rallies pop up across the US to decry the rise in anti-Asian hate.
- The rallies come after eight people were killed in a shooting in Atlanta, six of whom were Asian women.
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Prosecutors in two major cities brought forth hate crime charges against two men in separate racially driven anti-Asian incidents.
In San Francisco, the District Attorney's Office elevated what were initially misdemeanor charges against 53-year-old Victor Brown to felony assault and hate crime charges, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Earlier this month, Brown allegedly attacked and hurled racist slurs at an Asian American man.
In Seattle, King County prosecutors charged 51-year-old Christopher Hamner with a hate crime for allegedly throwing items at cars and screaming profanities at Asian women and children, the Seattle Times reported.
Hamner, who is being held on a $75,000 bond, allegedly yelled profanities and threw things at one woman who was stopped at a red light with her two young children on March 16. A few days later, he allegedly cut off another Asian woman's car and threw a water bottle at it.
The hate crime charges come as people across the country protest the rise in anti-Asian-American attacks.
There has been a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans since the coronavirus pandemic started. Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center that has been tracking cases from March to December of last year, said they received "over 2,808 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate" crimes.
There were rallies in over a dozen cities held on Saturday alone, ABC reported.
"We're out here to say that we're not going to tolerate racism towards Asian American communities," Satya Vatti, an organizer with the Answer (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, told ABC affiliate WSB in Atlanta.
In Los Angeles, hundreds marched for a mile through Koreatown carrying signs and demanding an end to discriminatory acts towards Asians, CBSLA reported.
The rallies come after a 21-year-old man was accused of killing four people at Young's Asian Massage in Acworth, Georgia, before heading to Gold Spa and the Aromatherapy Spa in Atlanta, where another four people were killed earlier this month.
Six of the eight victims in the Georgia attacks were women of Asian descent. Police said the crimes may have not been racially motivated and that the perpetrator, Robert Aaron Long, told police he had a sex addiction.