CINCINNATI, OH – A 26-year-old Ohio man has been charged by the Department of Justice after attacking an Asian-American student on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. The DOJ said that the attack was based solely on the victim’s ethnicity.
In a press release from November 3rd, the DOJ stated:
“Darrin Johnson, 26, was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday and arrested this morning. His case was unsealed when he appeared in federal court at 1:30pm.”
Johnson, who is black, shouted statements such as:
“Go back to your country,” and “You brought the ‘kung flu’ here. You’re going to die for it.”
Cincinnati Man Charged with Federal Hate Crime for Physically Assaulting Asian American Student Based on Race: Darrin Johnson of Cincinnati has been charged with committing a federal hate crime by physically assaulting a victim based on the victim’s race. https://t.co/WfnGic0GOe
— FBI Cincinnati (@FBICincinnati) November 4, 2022
After making that death threat, Johnson punched the victim in the side of the head, causing the young man to fall and hit his head again on the bumper of a parked car.
Luckily, two people witnessed the attack and intervened. One of them held Johnson on the ground until police arrived to take him into custody.
The man he attacked suffered multiple injuries, which included a concussion and racial lacerations.
According to a Fox News report, Johnson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and criminal intimidation in October 2021 and was sentenced to a year in jail. He is looking at up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted at the federal level.
That same Fox News story points to a report from the group Stop AAPI Hate that shows hate crimes against Asian-Americans rise drastically after the start of the pandemic. AAPI is an abbreviation for Asian-American and Pacific Islanders.
According to that group, more than 9,000 incidents occurred from March of 2020 and today. While many of those incidents were labeled as taunting, a large number were detailed acts of physical violence. The largest was the Atlanta-area spa shooting that left six Asian women dead. Nearly 1,000 of the 9,000+ reports indicated some level of physical violence.
Taunting is not considered a hate crime, even when it is targeted based on race or ethnicity.
“When you encourage hate, it’s not like a genie in a bottle where you can pull it out and push it back in whenever you want,” said Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. “There’s too much perpetuating these belief systems to make them go away.”
In May of this year, President Joe Biden signed into law the bi-partisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. This law expedites Justice Department reviews of anti-Asian hate crimes and makes federal grants available for campaigns to address the anti-Asian sentiment.
Sadly, we have written numerous stories about the attacks perpetrated on elderly Asian-Americans around the country of the past few years. Outside the Atlanta killings and this most recent attack in Cincinnati, the most common victim demographic is older Asian-Americans.
Anni Chung, president and CEO of San Francisco-based Self-Help for the Elderly told Fox News:
“Sometimes when we talk to seniors, they say this hatred drove them to be stuck in their house even worse than the pandemic,” Chung said. “One of our clients was on the bus. Right before the man got off the bus, he just punched her. She said no one — not the bus driver and a number of Chinese on the bus — went to her care.”
Chung did not speculate on why other Asian-Americans did not come to her aid.
Whether the attacks random or ethnically related, the violence in this country is out of control and something needs to be done to address it.