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Asian American driver attacked for asking passengers to wear masks

/ 05:11 PM July 29, 2020
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An Asian American bus driver was assaulted with a baseball bat by a group of passengers after the former asked them to wear face masks in California, USA.

The driver was attacked by three young men who reportedly boarded the bus in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, as per the city’s police department via San Francisco Chronicle on July 24.

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Despite citizens being required by the San Francisco government to wear face coverings, the three men still hopped on the bus and refused the driver’s instruction to follow the health protocol.

The driver (unidentified in the report) then pulled over to escort the passengers off, the police reported. One of them, however, pulled out a wooden baseball bat and proceeded to hit the driver several times before fleeing the scene.

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He later denounced the incident, stressing that “it’s hard right now being a bus driver, especially being an Asian driver,” as per The Guardian yesterday, July 28.

The victim, who asked the news outlet to withhold his name for privacy, also noted that both he and his Asian passengers were hurled at with racist slurs after they had asked other passengers to wear a mask.

The victim added that one of the attackers also told him that being Asian, he was one who was most likely to have the novel coronavirus, according to the report.

Transport Workers Union Local 250-A president Roger Marenco, meanwhile, pointed out that because of the incident, bus drivers may now be more reluctant to enforce the health protocol, as per KQED Public Radio on July 26.

“They spit at him, they hit him with a bat, they fractured one of his fingers,” Marenco was quoted as saying. “What does that do for the operator? It puts them in fear.”

Over 800 COVID-19-related hate incidents against Asian Americans in California have been recorded between March and June, according to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, the San Francisco State University Asian American Studies department and the non-profit organization Chinese for Affirmative Action.

Of the total of 832 hate incidents, 81 reportedly involved physical assault, while 64 “suggested potential civil rights violations” against Asian Americans. Ian Biong /ra

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TAGS: California, COVID-19, Face Masks, Hate crime, novel coronavirus, Racism, San Francisco, United States
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