A Collin County Hindu temple came together Wednesday night to address the recent hate and violence toward the South Asian community. During the meeting, a number of community leaders spoke including members of Frisco police.
The meeting was called to find out how the city of Frisco and police will deal with instances such as the verbal attack on South Asian American women leaving Sixty Vines in Plano on August 24.
The interaction went viral through a mobile phone video and many residents are concerned the violence will continue in other places in Collin County. Asian individuals are the second largest ethnic group in the county and account for around 15% of residents. The website does not provide further data on the number of South Asian and South Asian American residents.
CBSDFW reported Viji Ponangi, a Frisco resident, attended the meeting and shared her thoughts on the recent violence and hate crimes. “And then towards the end, she said that I’m going to shoot you,” said Ponangi. “And you’ve seen so many incidents of shootings going on and it’s so scary. And so you know, I have daughters who are like they’re adults now. So it is scary for them. So I don’t know whether they should confront such a person or just ignore it.”
Frisco police said they file many criminal offenses even without video and that the best way to handle instances of harassment is to walk away and not escalate the situation. In the case of the women leaving Sixty Vines, the video helped police charge Esmerelda Upton for assault.
Police also explained they face challenges with hate crimes occurring because they often go unreported. Residents are encouraged to call the police about incidents that could be considered verbal abuse or racial targeting.
The Texas South Asian community has come together since the attack and has held several public events in support of South Asian Americans including the peaceful rally that took place at Haggard Park on August 27, which Local Profile previously covered.