Jan 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Anti-AAPI hate crimes jumped 567% in San Francisco in 2021, police say

Photo of a sign that says "No more attacks on Asians" standing in a SF Chinatown street decorated with red lanterns
A street in Chinatown on March 18, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate crimes in San Francisco jumped 567% from 2020 to 2021, according to preliminary data released by the city's police department.

Why it matters: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up over 36% of San Francisco's population, but the city and its surrounding region have seen some of the most violent attacks in the U.S. during the two-yearlong rise in anti-Asian hate.

  • The city was lifted into the national spotlight last January when an 84-year-old Thai immigrant died after an assailant slammed him into the ground in San Francisco.

By the numbers: In 2019, eight anti-AAPI hate crimes were reported to San Francisco police. In 2020, nine were reported. In 2021, that number rose to 60.

  • Several incidents occurred in Chinatown.
  • Police said they suspect one man was responsible for half of the crimes. The unnamed individual has since been detained and faces charges including hate crime enhancement.

What they're saying: "2021 saw an alarming rise in hate crimes against the API community," Mayor London Breed (D) tweeted.

  • "Over the last year, we’ve invested in senior escort programs, community patrols, and foot beats to protect all of our API residents. We need to do more."

Worth noting: The California Department of Justice will make the final determinations on data counts for hate crime reporting.

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