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'Chilling Message' Remains After Attack on Filipino Woman

Longer video shows workers helping victim, but NYC locals still anxious over 'inaction'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2021 7:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – The outpouring of outrage prompted by a vicious attack earlier this week on an elderly Asian American woman outside a New York City condo complex was directed not only at the perpetrator of the attack, but also at three men inside the building who appeared to not help the Filipino victim, either during or after the assault. The initial footage released by the NYPD shows at least one person standing by in the building's lobby while the woman is attacked, not moving to stop it from happening. Two security guards then come into view, with one closing the door to the lobby after the attacker walked away, leaving the woman lying on the sidewalk. The building's owner suspended the workers and continues to investigate, along with the workers' union. But now, the New York Daily News reports it has a longer video and statement provided by the building owner that shows the two employees "did then emerge to assist the victim and flag down an NYPD officer."

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The owner adds the two workers will remain suspended, however, until it can be determined "whether all emergency protocols were sufficiently followed." Brandon Elliott, 38, was arrested Wednesday and hit with assault and hate crime charges. But that hasn't eased local anxiety, especially amid a surge in crimes nationwide against Asian Americans. "Everybody is on edge," an Asian American Bar Association of New York board member tells the New York Times, which notes that videos of other attacks on Asian Americans show spectators similarly standing around while assaults take place—sending a "chilling message." "The inaction is what's heartbreaking," an advocate for immigrants says. The paper notes that spectators have been injured on occasion when trying to intervene, but some say help can at least be offered afterward. "When you see someone on the ground who clearly needs help, as a human, your instinct isn't to close the door," one resident of the condo complex says. (Read more Asian-Americans stories.)

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