Press Releases

THE ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY’S STATEMENT ON THE ATLANTA AREA SHOOTIN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2021   

The Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ) mourns the deaths of the eight individuals, six of whom were Asian women, in the Atlanta area.  Our hearts are with the families of Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Hyeon Jeong Park, Julie Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and the two victims who have not yet been identified.  All eight victims were mercilessly gunned down by a young Caucasian male on March 16, 2021.

The global pandemic, fueled by discriminatory rhetoric regarding its origin, has unleashed a surge of over 3,800 documented reports of violence, hate, bias, and discrimination against the Asian/Pacific American (APA) community and all people of Asian descent in the United States.  Across our nation, we are witnessing people of APA descent attacked and even killed by fellow Americans and law enforcement.  In New York City alone, anti-Asian hate crimes increased 1,900% since 2020.  And these are only the incidents about which we are aware – as many, many more go unreported.  It cannot be underscored that xenophobia against the APA community is nothing new.  We must do better and we must be better as Americans.  Enough is enough.

We invite all community members, lawyers, and elected officials to work with us to protect our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and children from discrimination, hate, and violence.  We must raise awareness regarding the needs of the APA community in our State and across the country.  We call on law enforcement to acknowledge not only implicit bias but to recognize and identify hate crimes and the proper handling of these cases.  We demand that elected officials cease engaging in bigoted rhetoric directed towards our community and unite to constructively work towards eradicating such hate and violence against the APA community.

APALA-NJ stands ready to work alongside fellow bar associations, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), community leaders, elected officials, and politicians to address the needs of the APA community in our State and across the country.

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APALA-NJ, a non-partisan organization, founded in 1985 and incorporated in 1993, is the largest specialty bar association that collectively represents the interests of Asian and Pacific American lawyers in the State of New Jersey.