Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for blaming COVID for attacking Asian family inside Sam’s Club

A Texas man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to attacking an Asian family he blamed for COVID early in the pandemic.

On March 14, 2020, 21-year-old Jose Gomez violently attacked an Asian family of three at Sam’s Club in Midland, Texas, calling them a “threat.”around Department of Justice said in a statement.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of committing hate crimes in February.

In his petition, Gomez admitted to following his father and children, ages 6 and 2, around the store. He then grabbed a serrated steak knife for sale, bent the blade so the sharp part was facing out, and punched his father in the face.

Gomez then got an 8-inch knife from a store and cut the 6-year-old boy’s face. The knife went near his right eye, ripped his right ear, and cut around the back of his skull.

In his petition, Gomez said he wanted to kill a six-year-old boy and attacked a white store employee who prevented him from doing so.

“Get out of America!”

The incident was one of many racist, not provoked attack About Asians in the last few years. Some of the victims were presumed to be of Chinese descent by the attackers and accused of causing the COVID pandemic.At the time, then-President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus “Chinese virus” Stirring racist and xenophobic fears.

“Race-motivated violence resulting from the pandemic is a deplorable crime, and the Department of Justice is using hate crimes laws to punish perpetrators,” Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. We are ready to take responsibility,” he said. Words of Gomez. “Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans are on the rise during the pandemic and must be confronted. You deserve to feel safe and secure in your life.”

Official statistics on hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are not always accurate. 1 report AAPI people were found to be more reluctant than other races to report such incidents to authorities. Stop AAPI Hate between March 2020 and December 2021 (latest data available) Over 10,000 Hate Incidents Reported Against the AAPI folks.

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