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Lexington Asian-American community meet with law enforcement about safety

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 10:53 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - After six Asian-American women were among the eight killed in mass shootings at massage parlors in Atlanta, safety has become a concern among the Asian community in Lexington.

During a conversation between leaders of the community and Lexington law enforcement, some spoke about their experiences of hate crimes and derogatory acts towards them.

“Overall, we are very concerned, said Dr. Changzheng Wang, with the Kentucky Chinese-American Association. “Many people are worried about their safety when they go shopping or doing things. It’s a big problem in our community.”

“Myself I heard go back to your country when I was shopping...it is one of my favorite shopping places, but after that, whenever I stop by there, my guard is up,” said one speaker.

The over hour long conversation with Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers also discussed plans of action to negate fears the community now has, and to address small concerns and instances before they turn more violent.

“For what happened in Atlanta, to me I don’t care what the motive was, what I saw was the fear that created,” said Chief Weathers. “That’s something we can’t have in any community.”

Chief Weathers also encouraged the community leaders to talk to their friends and families about reporting any hate crime they experience.

“We want our community to realize we can speak up,” said Dr. Wang. “We should not suffer in silence.”

The group did discuss forming a coalition and Chief Weathers said he could assign someone within the department to be part of it. This would give the group a direct line of communication with the department.

Locally, there is support for the Asian community in Lexington. The Instagram page, @ShareLexKy has compiled a list of Asian-owned business in town to support.

“My Instagram and blog are centered around supporting local businesses here in Lexington,” Nicole Gifford said. “I am super passionate about supporting local and encouraging others to do so as well.

This post actually came about after having a conversation with Dan Wu of Atomic Ramen about the diversity of businesses that are represented on social media pages like my own. Given the recent terrible acts of violence against the Asian community in recent days, it only seemed right to honor the Asian community here in Lexington and the immense value they bring to our city by compiling a list of Asian Owned Businesses. My real hope through this list is to bring attention to the many incredible Asian Owned Businesses in Lexington and serve as a resource for others to show their support as well.”

To find that list, click here.

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