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Northshore educator insists Seattle attack was hate crime, says legal system ignores Asian Americans

File photo of a rally and march at Hing Hay Park in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District in Seattle, WA on March 13, 2021. (File photo by Rod Mar)

An Inglemoor High School educator attacked in Seattle’s Chinatown International District on Feb. 25 says she hopes the suspect will be charged with a hate crime.

Noriko Nasu, who is Japanese, spoke out on Monday at a rally in Renton to show support for Asian Americans.

“I have reasons to believe it was a hate crime,” Nasu said.

The attack left Nasu with fractures in her nose and cheek, broken teeth, and a concussion.

Gov. Inslee, local leaders speak out against ‘horrendous surge’ in violence against Asian-Americans

A suspect has been charged with assaulting both Nasu and her boyfriend. King County prosecutors say they do not have enough evidence to charge the suspect with a hate crime, but he will go to prison if he is convicted on assault charges. Prosecutors say if more evidence becomes available, they can modify the charges.

Nasu insists that a hate crime is exactly what happened on that day in February.

“A non-Asian person came to a neighborhood known for its Asian population with a weapon and prepared — stood in a corner and waited for a victim to arrive,” she said.

She also implied that the legal system does not work for Asian Americans.

“The legal system does not recognize my case as a hate crime,” Nasu said. “The system is not made for us. We feel ignored. We want justice and we want action now.”

Also at the rally on Monday morning was Gov. Jay Inslee and a handful of local community leaders, who spoke out against a “horrendous surge” of violence against Asian Americans. The governor singled out the Trump administration for its frequent labeling of COVID-19 as the “China virus.”

Local leaders speak out to condemn anti-Asian violence, hate crimes

King County Executive Dow Constantine also spoke to announce his intent to use federal money from the American Rescue Plan to distribute $5 million in grants to “community-based organizations to increase funding for anti-hate bias response.” Read more.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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