BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Sickening videos capture the surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans nationwide. Most of the attacks happen in public and many of the victims are elderly.

One of the most vicious attacks happened in Baltimore.

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Sisters Hy-Shin Williams and Hye-Kyong Yun, both in their 60’s, were closing up their store Wonder Land Liquors on Pennsylvania Avenue in May when police say Darryl Doles showed up with a concrete brick.

Video shows him grabbing Williams by the hair, pushing her face to the ground, kneeling on top of her, then striking her in the head with the block. Her sister rushed over to help and she too was beaten.

Both women suffered severe injuries including multiple lacerations, swelling and bruising.

According to a copy of his indictment, Doles targeted multiple Asian-owned businesses, saying: “They need to go back to their country.”

“It turns the stomach to think about being struck in the head repeatedly like that with a hard object like that,” said former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur.

Hur represents the sisters through a new national imitative that provides Asian American victims with legal services free of charge.

“They’re incredibly strong, impressive women,” Hur said. “And in that way, they are representative of the immigrant community in Maryland, and the Asian American immigrant community in Maryland.”

Hur also leads the state’s “Asian American Hate Crimes Work Group,” the first of its kind in the country.

“The Covid pandemic has wreaked such havoc upon on our economy and really the way people live their lives every single day, that it can be often tempting to try to find a culprit. ‘Whom can we blame?'” he said.

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Hur brought together a diverse group of Asian Americans including a pastor, a professor and a police officer. Together they came up with recommendations for Gov. Larry Hogan to combat the rise in anti-Asian bias and violence.

“We want the victims of these crimes to know we see you, we hear you, and we’re here and standing with you,” said prosecutor Jaymi Sterling, the governor’s daughter.

Here are a few of the new actions being taken in Maryland:

  • Updating hate and bias training for law enforcement;
  • Making 211 a resource for reporting hate and bias incidents;
  • Publishing and distributing pamphlets to explain how victims can report crimes;
  • Establishing a special state police commander who will only deal with hate crimes.

According to the non-profit coalition “Stop AAPI Hate,” more than 9,000 anti-Asian incidents nationwide were reported since the outset of the pandemic in 2020. Here in Maryland, the governor said hate crimes have more than doubled since 2018. Yet many incidents go *unreported.*

“Culturally, Asian Americans are very private people,” Sen. Clarence Lam said. “We like to keep everything within our families and within our tight-knit communities. And it’s not natural for many of us to cry out for help or ask for assistance.”

Sen. Lam chairs the Asian American Legislative Caucus. He said the challenge now is keeping the dialogue going. This upcoming legislative session, he will introduce a bill for school systems to build more Asian American history, culture and awareness into the curriculum.

“This is really a civil rights movement,” Lam said.

It’s critical to reach out to other community partners and allies to continue advocating for change.

“It’s not just an Asian problem. It’s not just an African American problem. It’s not just a Latino problem,” Hur said. “It’s a problem for everybody if we want to get to the place, the kind of society, and the kind of country we all deserve and we all want to live in with respect.”

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If you need help reporting a hate crime or incident, visit the governor’s Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Resource Center.

Linh Bui