RICHMOND, Va. — With Asian hate crimes on the rise in the country, the Asian American community is working to bridge the gap between the Central Virginia community and law enforcement.
The Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce held an event Tuesday night with various law enforcement agencies to help business owners be aware of the rise in crime and what they can do about it.
In October, a heinous vandalism occurred at Henrico’s India Kraja restaurant. Police in Henrico are also tracking two home burglaries involving Asian business owners.
“The majority of Asian Americans come for their state country where they are afraid of the police,” said Tinh Phan, founder and president of the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce. “
“We know that the more engagement we have, the more informed we are, the more crime we can deflect,” Richmond officer Phon Hoonsan said.
A demonstration of law enforcement came to network with these owners from Ashland, Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield and Richmond. They also had the local FBI division present.
“We are trying to break down these barriers to build trust within our community,” said officer Henrico Sopheap Chamreun.
Many Asian Americans are afraid of law enforcement, according to Phan.
“They have to understand that there are people out there to protect them, and they have to understand that they are not alone,” Phan said.
Organizers are planning more events like these aimed at equipping and empowering the community against hate crimes.