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May 26, 2024
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San Francisco mom urges student safety after alleged anti-Asian bus incident

San Francisco mom urges student safety after alleged anti-Asian bus incident

A San Francisco mom is asking for urgency and accountability after a man allegedly yelled racist anti-Asian remarks on a Muni bus and even took out a stun gun at one point.

The incident happened on Wednesday while Liz Le’s son was on the bus along with other Lowell High School students.

There’s no video that SFMTA or SFPD have released that shows the person who yelled the racial slurs, and that’s what has the mother so concerned. 

The person is still out there while many students continue to take the bus.

“He has to take public transportation every day, so do a lot of young kids and there’s been a lot of Asian hate in our city but not a lot of responsive accountability,” Le said.

She said there’s been a lack of urgency to address hate against Asians in San Francisco, especially after the recent incident on a Muni bus. 

Her 14-year-old son was on his way home from Lowell with his friend when a man started shouting discriminatory and racist remarks. 

“Using the c-slur and then saying that Asians are ruining this country, they need to leave,” Le said.

She said her son was shocked and scared. 

“He said when this man was yelling these things he would look down at his feet and try to not make eye contact because he was very afraid that as soon as he made eye contact — because he looks Asian American — the guy would start to attack him more directly and personally,” Le said.

She said other passengers tried to step in and that’s when the man became more aggressive and pulled out a stun gun. 

“Chaos ensues and the bus stopped and let people out,” Le said. “He [her son] got out and hid behind a tree and his friend ran the other way,” Le said.

San Francisco police said that on Wednesday at about 3:15 p.m., they arrived at Sunset Boulevard and Santiago Street and met with a caller who said a man on the bus yelled slurs at people and pulled out what was described as a Taser. The person then ran off and hasn’t been seen since.

SFMTA says bus surveillance is being seen by SFPD to identify the suspect and adds in a statement, “We are taking this incident very seriously and are working with SFPD on finding this suspect. We do not tolerate crime, harassment and attacks of hate on muni, and we thank the riders who reported this to us.”

Police have yet to share any video of the incident.

In a statement, District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio said in part, “This is a sober reminder that ensuring public safety is our most important job. I heard from many parents who were upset about this incident. If residents don’t feel safe about their daily lives, nothing else matters.”

Le is hoping more is done to protect students like her son.

“I think it’s very traumatic for the kids, I don’t think we can clearly understand that right away, I think that’s the most heartbreaking part because they’re young,” she said.

Le is hoping more people who were on that bus will speak up.

San Francisco police are asking anyone with information to give them a call.

Jocelyn Moran, NBC Bay Area

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