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Southern California woman sought for anti-Asian hate incidents
From:Xinhua  |  2020-06-15 16:20

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LOS ANGELES, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The Torrance Police Department has been looking for a 56-year old California resident called Lena Hernandez after her multiple anti-Asian hate speeches and actions.

Hernandez was caught on camera spewing anti-Asian hate speech at a young Filipino woman called Sherry Berry on Wednesday.

Hundreds of people gathered at the park on Friday to denounce racism after the video went viral.

Torrance Chief of Police, Eve R. Berg, told a conference the suspect has been identified and the police have been "actively searching" for her at her Long Beach residence and other addresses she's linked to.

But so far the suspect has eluded arrest.

According to Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, Torrance is "a fully diverse community" with 30 and 40 percent Asian and Pacific Islander population and a robust Asian-driven business community including more than 200 headquarters of Japanese businesses. The community also includes many Chinese and other Asian residents and companies.

Attorney Jessie Weiner told Xinhua that the actual words and the context would determine the degree to which the suspect can be prosecuted. But it can be hard to convict Hernandez due to the United States' unique freedom of speech protections under federal law.

Berg said the suspect had victimized other Asian residents, both verbally and physically.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased, said Albert Y. Muratsuchi, a Democratic California State Assemblyman for the 66th District, which includes Torrance. Enditem