NEW YORK — PIX11 News was there as Inspector Tommy Ng, the new head of the NYPD’s Asian Hate Crime Task Force, walked through Chinatown.
Inspector Ng was there to get a sense of what people are feeling but also to try to put them at ease.
This community has been overwhelmed with being victimized by hate crimes. Ng, who took over from Inspector Stewart Loo, stopped into a popular restaurant. While the normal lunch crowd is eating with heavy hearts, the head chef had a list of concerns to give to Ng.
The community’s fear was amplified after seeing a disturbing video of a 65-year-old woman being beaten as she walked to church earlier this week.
Ng is planning to meet with the victim.
“I’m planning to visit with her in person to make sure that she’s feeling okay and anything she needs from the NYPD, we’re there for her.”
Police arrested Brandon Elliot, a homeless man who was once convicted of murdering his own mother. He was out on parole after he served 17 years in prison.
According to Ng, the common denominator among the attackers appears to be mental illness.
“It plays a big component of the driving force with these anti-Asian sentiments that are going on right now,” he said.
The department deployed undercover Asian police officers to try and turn things around. They’ve added two more detectives to the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force.
But they also need from the public.
“I think this is a collaborative effort,” Ng added. “We need the public to, if you see something, say something.”
Ng knows first hand, that may be easier said than done. At one point in his life, he too was a victim reluctant to come forward.
“I had the same feeling when I came to this country, I was robbed twice,” he said.
What does he want to say to New Yorkers who are becoming desensitized to this kind of violence?
“I think [the NYPD] is doing everything it could to help the situation. We are building confidence in the community as well, that we are here to help.”