From Kate Brown, Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) – Following the murder of eight people at massage companies in the Atlanta area, a group of former top prosecutors issued an open letter Thursday expressing their support for the Asian-American community and acts of hatred against each group condemned.
The letter notes that the more than 120 former US attorneys who have signed it are from all over the country and represent different races, religions, sexual orientations, genders, generations, and political backgrounds.
“And in these bipartisan and divisive times, we may not agree on many points,” the letter said. “But we all agree: we do agree when it comes to helping the communities of Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific islanders while we mourn together.” . ”
They also expressed their unity “by condemning all acts of hatred and bigotry and the words of hatred and bigotry that inspire them, whether they are directed at Asians, Blacks, women, members of the LGBTQ community or judge another historically disadvantaged group. ”
Police said Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old white man, shot and killed eight people on March 16 at two massage companies in Atlanta and one in Cherokee County, about 50 kilometers northwest of the city. A ninth person was shot and injured. For a long time, he told investigators he was a sex addict, and authorities said he appeared to have targeted companies that he viewed as temptation.
Police said they were still working to investigate a motive for the shootings. But the fact that seven of the women killed and six of them were of Asian descent has led to calls for hate crime charges.
After outlining the mistreatment of people of Asian origin in the US in the past, the former prosecutor’s letter adds that “tragically inexcusably, our nation is still facing an epidemic of violence against women and against women in these very communities.”
Suspicion of law enforcement between these communities has resulted in underreporting of hate crimes, the letter said. The former U.S. attorneys are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to work with state and local law enforcement agencies to do more against hatred and bigotry, including maintaining better data.
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