PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 39-year-old man is facing bias crime and felony assault charges stemming from an incident on a TriMet bus on January 22.
Peter Eschright allegedly kicked an Asian-American woman in both shins and hurled racial slurs at her while she was riding the bus with her son. The Multnomah County DA charged Eschright with 2 counts of 1st-degree bias crime and a 4th-degree felony.
Dr. Russell Jeung, the co-founder of Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate, said this is a pattern of hate emerging across the US over the past year.
“We know that at least half of all Asian-Americans experience direct racism,” Jeung said. “We created a website and immediately we were flooded with hundreds of cases every day. So what’s just happened in Portland isn’t unusual, sadly. It’s not an isolated case but it’s part of a pervasive, systemic widespread spate of racism that’s direct against Asian-Americans during COVID-19.”
A United Nations report from 2020 places the blame partly on former President Donald Trump. The report said Trump was responsible for “seemingly legitimizing” the rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans.