SAINT PAUL – Tuesday, March 16, a series of shootings took place across several massage parlors resulting in the deaths of eight people, several of whom were of Asian descent. The People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus released the following statement:
“The members of the POCI Caucus condemn the wave of violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The surge of anti-Asian violence is unacceptable, and we demand justice for them – whether it is in our own communities in Minnesota, or in Georgia, or anywhere across the Nation. These attacks are rooted in racism, and we all must play a part in combating racism through collective action. Addressing this violence requires education and understanding from all of us, as well as civil rights protections that lift up our communities.”
Official data on the increase of hate crimes against Asian Americans has been lacking, as data collection efforts have been inadequate, and met with culture and language barriers. Some efforts to improve this collection have been made, and early results from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights show 10% of their COVID-related calls are regarding anti-Asian Pacific Islander bias and discrimination incidents. Anecdotal evidence has shown a clear increase in attacks across the nation, including Minnesota. Click here for information on how to report hate-motivated crimes.
The People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus includes Reps. Esther Agbaje (59B), Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Cedrick Frazier (45A), Aisha Gomez (62B), Hodan Hassan (Vice- Chair 62A), Kaohly Her (64A), Athena Hollins (66B), Heather Keeler (6A), Fue Lee (59A), Carlos Mariani (65B), Rena Moran (65A), Mohamud Noor (60B), Ruth Richardson (52B), John Thompson (67A), Samantha Vang (Chair, 40B), Jay Xiong (67B), Tou Xiong (53B), and Senators Bobby Joe Champion (59), Omar Fateh (62), Melisa Franzen (49), Foung Hawj (67), Mary Kunesh (41), Patricia Torres Ray (Chair, 63)