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Monday, 12 April 2021

U.S. senator: Atlanta shooting 'racially motivated'

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U.S. senator: Atlanta shooting 'racially motivated'
U.S. senator: Atlanta shooting 'racially motivated'

U.S. Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth on Sunday expressed doubts about FBI Director Chris Wray's initial assessment that the fatal shooting of six Asian women in Atlanta-area spas may not constitute a hate crime, saying it "looks racially motivated." Flora Bradley-Watson reports.

U.S. Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth said on Sunday that the fatal shooting of six Asian women in Atlanta appeared to be racially motivated.

Police in Atlanta are still investigating the motive behind last week's killings.

"From where I sit, I want to see a deeper investigation into whether or not these shootings and other similar crimes are racially motivated.

It looks racially motivated to me." Her comments on CBS "Face the Nation" put her at odds with FBI Director Chris Wray's initial assessment.

Wray said last week that it did not appear that race factored into the mass shooting of eight people, six of whom were Asian.

Suspected gunman Robert Aaron Long told police that sexual frustration led him to commit the violence.

The shootings have stoked fears among those in the Asian-American Pacific Islander community who've reported a spike in hate crimes since March 2020.

That's when the then-President Donald Trump began making reference to the global health crisis as the 'China virus'.

According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, hate crimes against Asian-Americans rose by 149% in 2020 in 16 major cities compared with 2019.

Duckworth said on Sunday she has written a letter to the FBI Director and the Attorney General, asking them to take a deeper look at whether hate crimes are going under-reported.

She is one of a growing number of Asian-American lawmakers urging law enforcement to do more on the issue.

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