- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 31, 2021

New York police unions on Wednesday slammed the state’s leftist politicians for the release of a man who killed his own mother in 2002 and was arrested this week for assaulting an Asian American woman in an incident that went viral.

Brandon Elliot, 38, was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault as a hate crime and attempted assault as a hate crime, for attacking a 65-year-old woman in Midtown Manhattan.

Mr. Elliot was sentenced to 15 years-to-life for killing his mother with a kitchen knife nearly 20 years ago. Although he was denied parole in 2017 and 2018, Mr. Elliot was released in September 2019 and has been on lifetime parole since then.

He also was arrested in 2000 for robbery.

Two of New York’s police unions pointed the finger at the state’s liberal politicians who pushed an overhaul of the bail system, saying Mr. Elliot never should have been released from prison in the first place.

“You can’t make it up. Do we need any more proof that the failed policies of our elected officials are leading to more New Yorkers being injured and killed?” said Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco. “When are we going to hold our elected leaders accountable?”

Paul DiGiacomo, head of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, said elected officials shouldn’t be surprised by the violent attack.

“It is about time the City Council, state Assembly and governor be held accountable for their irresponsible laws and decisions,” he said. “New Yorkers are clearly not safe because of them. They need to fix what they broke.”

Mr. Elliot, who was living in a homeless shelter, is accused of kicking the woman in the stomach, causing her to fall to the ground. Police says he punched her while she was on the ground, kicking her head and body, some of which was caught on video.

Police also say he yelled anti-Asian statements at the woman.

The woman was identified as Vilma Kari, who immigrated from the Philippines, her daughter told The New York Times. The newspaper did not identify Ms. Kari’s daughter.

The assault occurred outside an apartment building just before noon on Monday. Surveillance video appears to show the apartment staff watching the attack without intervening and then closing the door as the woman attempted to stand up.

The Brodsky Organization, which manages the building, said in a statement it had suspended two employees for their apparent inaction.

Still, the lack of action has outraged social media users and politicians. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, implored residents to always “help those who need it.”

Andrew Yang, the former Democratic presidential candidate who is running for New York City mayor, told CNN that bystanders could “have done a lot of good.”

The assault is one of several recent high-profile assaults of Asian Americans across the country. Such incidents have risen since the coronavirus pandemic began last year.

Yet analysts disagree on how much attacks on Asian Americans have grown. One study says the number of hate crimes has grown 150%. However, the overall numbers remained low, with 122 incidents reported last year compared to 49 in 2019, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the University of California, San Bernardino.

But Stop AAPI Hate says the number is much higher, saying it has recorded nearly 3,800 incidents.

At an event Wednesday hosted by the conservative Manhattan Institute, analysts agreed the number of incidents is underreported.

Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce in California, estimates that less than 20% of anti-Asian incidents are reported.

“It started many years ago and the reason people are not aware of it is that people are not getting information or the numbers being reported,” he said. 

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