Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday condemned the fatal shootings of eight people — including six Asian women — at Atlanta-area massage parlors as “domestic terrorism.”
“We have to be clear here that what we saw here was nothing less than domestic terrorism,” de Blasio said at the top of his City Hall press briefing.
The mayor called the Tuesday evening shootings “really troubling” and “something I think for so many New Yorkers is causing them a lot of pain and a lot of fear right now – the horrible attacks in Atlanta – the murder of innocent people simply because they were Asian-American.”
“People killed in their workplaces, going about their lives simply because of their ethnicity and a systematic effort to harm people,” Hizzoner said, adding, “To see this hatred, to see it take such a violent form, is extraordinarily distressing.”
De Blasio continued, “We have to stop Asian hate.”
“We have to focus our energies on supporting our Asian brothers and sisters in this moment,” he said.
De Blasio noted that in the wake of the killings there’s been a “major deployment” of NYPD counterterrorism forces around in the Big Apple “in some of the most prominent Asian communities.”
“Of course, as usual, the NYPD is assessing the pattern of what we saw in Atlanta, but I want to assure all New Yorkers — particularly all Asian New Yorkers — that we are here for you and we will stand by you,” de Blasio said.
Georgia police have arrested a white 21-year-old man, Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia, in connection to the fatal attacks.
The slayings come amid a wave of targeted violence against the Asian American community.