NEW YORK — There was an effort Saturday to help people in Chinatown stay safe amid rising violence against Asians.
Residents lined up on Mulberry Street to get free pepper spray.
The group Chinatown Block Watch distributed the items to women and seniors. Organizers say they gave out 550 units in about 30 minutes.
“It’s important to let women and seniors have some kind of measure of confidence,” Chinatown Block Watch founder Karlin Chan said.
“It doesn’t hurt to have it. At the same time, you feel more secure as a New Yorker because of what’s going on,” one woman said. “You always have to watch your back. You never know.”
The NYPD says there have been 32 hate crimes against Asians so far this year, up 10% from the same time last year.