PHOENIX— House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding released the following statement on Wednesday's one-year anniversary of the Atlanta spree shootings that took the lives of eight people including six Asian American women who worked in spas. February 16 also marked a year since the murder of Juanito Falcon, a 74-year-old Glendale resident of Filipino descent, who was attacked while walking near Christown Spectrum Mall in Phoenix.
"A year ago this week we saw three Asian-owned businesses in Atlanta targeted and six women killed simply because they were of Asian descent. And just over a year ago our own community was scarred by a vicious hate crime that took the life of Jaunito Falcon. Across the country we have seen a 339 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes. This is unacceptable and absolutely counter to our values as a caucus, as Arizonans and as Americans. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities around the country, to mourn for lost loved ones, and to reaffirm our commitment to fight racism and xenophobia wherever and whenever it appears. Together we will stop Asian hate."