DailyExpertNews has reached out to Powell’s attorney for comment.
“The devastating death of Yao Pan Ma, a beloved father of two, came amid a wave of anti-Asian attacks on our families, friends, neighbors and values in New York,” Bragg said. “As alleged, Jarrod Powell selectively attacked Mr. Ma for no reason other than his race.”
Powell was arrested shortly after the attack. He told authorities he had been attacked “by two Korean or Japanese men the day before attacking Ma”, but said he did not report the incident and provided no further description of his alleged attackers, the prosecutor said.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) registered 524 hate crimes in the city last year — nearly double the number in 2020, according to a report from the department. That number is the highest in at least five years, according to the NYPD archive.
The most common motivation for hate crimes was anti-Jewish sentiment, according to NYPD data, but hate crimes motivated by anti-Asian bias saw the biggest increase between 2020 and 2021.
About 131 anti-Asian incidents were confirmed in 2021 – a huge jump from the 27 reported in 2020, and the single incident reported a year earlier.
Bragg, the district attorney, also said his office is prosecuting more anti-Asian incidents than ever.
Manhattan’s DA bureau currently has 33 pending hate crimes related to anti-Asian hate crimes. Manhattan’s DA bureau prosecuted nearly four times more anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021 than in the previous year, along with a significant increase of anti-hate crime investigations in Asia,” the prosecutor’s office said.
The 33 incidents, the agency said, are “the most we’ve had since our Hate Crimes Unit was established in 2010.”
And since the start of the pandemic, hate crime in general has increased across the country.