A woman in New York City was arrested by an undercover police officer and charged with a hate crime on Tuesday after she yelled racist sentiments at him and other Asian people in Chinatown, according to WLNY-TV and the Washington Post.
The incident occurred Tuesday when a woman began harassing the staff at a nail salon on Madison Street, according to WLNY. She allegedly threatened violence, used racial slurs and claimed that the workers “brought the corona to this country.”
During her tirade, another Asian person on the street intervened. The suspect called that man “a Chinese mother f-----," according to the Washington Post.
It turned out that man was a plainclothes NYPD police officer. He promptly called for backup and arrested the woman.
The suspect, later identified as 50-year-old Sharon Williams, was charged with harassment as a hate crime and aggravated harassment as a hate crime, according to the Post.
The NYPD has been employing undercover officers to patrols in Asian neighborhoods to combat hate crimes since late March.
The incident is just the latest in a string of attacks against Asian people in New York City.
On March 22, a man violently shoved and kicked an Asian woman outside of a luxury apartment complex in Manhattan. Security footage showed that several doormen in the building failed to render aid to the victim, and that one even closed the door to building as she lay injured on the sidewalk.
A suspect 38-year-old Brandon Elliot, has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident. Several doormen who were on duty at the time of the incident have since been fired.
A day later, the NYPD said a man yelled anti-Asian slurs at a woman and her three children as they rode the Subway in Manhattan. The suspect also allegedly spit at the woman and kicked her cellphone out of her hand.
Hate instances against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community people have been on the rise since last year.
Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group, reported nearly 4,000 instances of hate instances against Asian Americans in the U.S. between March 2020 and February 2021 — more than 10 a day.
The rise in hate instances mirrors the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Asian Americans unjustly face blame for the spread of the virus. That sentiment was further spread by former President Donald Trump, who often used racially-charged terms to describe the virus.