Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department is deeply disturbed by the horrific shootings that occurred yesterday at a spa in Atlanta, Georgia. There are currently no known threats of shootings or other violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members in the City of Los Angeles. Although these events occurred yesterday, the department has been working diligently for years with community leadership within the AAPI community to improve the department’s response to hate crimes and hate incidents. The department has further expanded this outreach since February in response to the outgrowth of hate. These shocking shootings yesterday are an example of why it is so important for us to listen to our community partners and work with them on how we can better serve their needs.
The department has a history in which leadership in the AAPI community and the LAPD have stood side by side in denouncing hate crimes, educating the community about the intolerance of the crimes and how to report them. Additionally, these relationships have resulted in improvements in training and awareness of hate crimes within the department and an effective response.
This history with the AAPI community can be traced back over 15 years with bi-annual forums in which the police conducted outreach and made efforts to educate the community regarding crime prevention and increased awareness about reporting hate crimes and hate incidents. The department identified liaison officers and assigned them to various communities, including the AAPI community, to improve communication and outreach efforts. Over the years, that has evolved into a community led approach in which leadership within the AAPI community have increasingly brought awareness to the LAPD and taken on a greater role of identifying issues, outreach and education within their own communities.
In February, the department began meeting with leadership and members within the AAPI community to discuss data sharing, current information, and ways to improve reporting. Valuable input from these community leaders is helping LAPD to better understand how to improve training and an understanding of how to improve the reporting of hate incidents and hate crimes, while building greater trust within the AAPI community.
The department is grateful for the leadership and insights provided by these community leaders which has resulted in re-evaluation of all aspects of training provided to officers in the field, so they can build the trust needed to give community members in the AAPI community the confidence that their reports will be taken seriously. The department is currently developing command officer led working groups to create a resource card in partnership with the AAPI community and have it exportable as an app as well as posting on the LAPD website.
The department has recently collaborated with community leaders and advocacy organizations in the AAPI community through the AAPI Safety Summit held on March 3, 2021, as well as through the Los Angeles General Managers meeting on March 9, 2021. Thanks to valuable input from these community leaders within the AAPI community, the department began outreach efforts to media outlets using multi-lingual officers in hope of building trust and confidence within the AAPI community. The department is deeply committed to working with members of the AAPI Community to better protect and serve their needs and the department Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and Law Enforcement Association of Asian Pacific (LEAAP) leadership stand united and support the department’s efforts to improve the service we provide to the AAPI community.
Recent efforts in light of the Atlanta shooting led to an abundance of caution in which the LAPD augmented the deployment of patrol officers and Senior Lead Officers on high visibility patrols on foot and in marked police vehicles in our AAPI communities. There is also on-going outreach to members of the AAPI community to ensure the sharing of accurate information as we promote vigilance and a shared sense of awareness. We ask the public to remain vigilant and if you see something, say something-it is everyone’s duty to report unusual activity in our communities and places of business. Hate crime and hate incidents are a matter of great concern for the LAPD and we ask the members of our AAPI communities to report hate incidents promptly to the police.
The Los Angeles Police Department proudly stands with our Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities as we denounce the killings that occurred yesterday in Atlanta. While we continue to work closely, we look to deepen our relationship with the AAPI community and demonstrate our ongoing and enduring commitment to show support.