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Recent crimes against Asians prompt victim demographic data request

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Jerold Chinn/SFBay
Sunset District resident Wendy Wong, left, Supervisor Gordon Mar, center, and Sunset District resident Amos Lim, support Mar's request to SFPD for crime victim data at a press conference, in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.

A San Francisco supervisor formally requested demographic data for victims of crime in The City amid concerns that crimes targeting the Asian community have increased.

During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Gordon Mar introduced a resolution calling on the San Francisco Police Department to release 10 years of aggregated citywide victim demographic data.

At a press conference before the board meeting, Mar said:

“This information will indicate whether certain communities or demographic groups are disproportionately impacted by specific types of crimes. It’s really critical in developing more effective crime prevention strategies ensuring all communities here in San Francisco are safe.”

The supervisor held a hearing in April to address home burglaries and robberies and then requested victims’ race data from police, but has yet to receive the information. Instead, the department sent him the racial breakdown of police officers.

Mar said:

“It’s unacceptable that SFPD has not provided such basic information to me, the Board of Supervisors, and the public.”

At the hearing, police officials said home burglaries and robberies had decreased from prior years, Mar said that sentiment was not felt by his constituents.

Wendy Wong, a 32-year Sunset District resident, said she thinks crimes against the Asian community are at a critical level.

Wong said:

“It is about time for us to step up just like our Supervisor Mar.”

Mar is also working with the City Attorney’s Office to draft legislation that will compel the police department to provide an annual report on crime victim demographics, including race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious preference and disability.

Recent crimes against members of the Asian community have caused alarm. An incident occurred earlier July 15 where two men, 56 and 69, were allegedly assaulted during a strong-arm robbery in Chinatown. The three suspects in that case are still at large.

Another incident involved an 88-year-old Visitacion Valley grandmother who was beaten to death in January.

Mar said:

“We have a responsibility as a city to respond to these concerns from our constituents, our communities, and do a better job of responding to crime incidents and preventing them from happening in the future.”

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