BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dozens stood in silence in Niagara Square to stop Asian hate. Those who gathered offered a moment of silence for the eight killed in the Atlanta spa shooting, the elderly Asian woman assaulted in San Francisco and numerous others.
"In the last year, since COVID-19 has hit, 3,795 first hand complaints of racism and discrimination against the AAPI community have been reported," one woman speaking at the rally said.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn made his first appearance at a rally in his nearly five years in office.
"Fortunately here in Buffalo we have not seen a rise or uptick in hate crimes against Asian Americans. I don't know if that's because it may not have been reported," DA Flynn said, "But, I assure you, that if there is a hate crime being committed, I will prosecute it. There is no doubt about it."
While DA Flynn said no hate crimes have been reported, several Asian Americans said they still feel hate from the community.
"So many things have happened... when I walk my dog, people look at me and give me these glares of hate and all I'm doing is walking my dog," another woman speaking at the rally said.
Mayor Byron Brown and Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin also condemn that hate.
"Any discrimination against the members of our Asian American community in Buffalo, in Erie County, in Western New York will not be tolerated," Mayor Brown said.
"We will stand united to make sure discrimination and racism comes to a stop," Chairwoman Baskin said.
Instead of hate, the Asian American community said they wish to spread love.
"Hate never accomplished anything. We are a species of love," a man speaking at the rally said.