The Victim in the Chinatown Murder Was an Advocate For Stopping Asian Hate Crimes

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Currents News Staff

Mayor Eric Adams traveled to Albany Monday to plead with lawmakers to help him fight the violence plaguing the city.  But it seems his calls to rollback the state’s bail reform law are falling on deaf ears.

This took place just a day after the brutal murder of a Manhattan woman, allegedly at the hands of a homeless man who was free on supervised release.

“It’s happening every time you turn around,” said Former Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, “the news is showing yet another victim and it’s hard to catch your breath.”

Thirty-five-year-old Christina Yuna Lee was stabbed more than 40 times after being followed into her Chinatown apartment early Sunday. While it’s unclear whether Lee’s race or ethnicity played a role in the attack, the killing conjures a fear all too common for Asian-Americans and women everywhere.

“The guard is up all the time and has been for a while,” Sharon said.

Lee was reportedly an advocate, fighting against Asian hate crimes, a cause near and dear to her heart. Prosecutors say when police responded, the alleged killer was inside the apartment speaking to cops through the closed door, pretending to be a woman and telling them to go away.

It took over an hour to get into the apartment. By that time Lee was dead. Investigators say her alleged killer, 25-year- old Assamad Nash was found hiding under the bed.

Despite a long history of arrests, including one for a violent attack in a criminal mischief and unlawful escape case in January, bail wasn’t set, so Nash was back on the streets.

City Council Member Julie Won says the rise and intensity of crimes against Asians come as little surprise. She blames an increase in homelessness, a strain on mental health services and China being blamed for the pandemic.

“There’s a vulnerability there and a sense of perceived weakness towards Asian American women,” Julie said, “and Asian American seniors that perpetrators tend to be pulled towards because we’re seen as easy prey.”

Nash has been charged with murder, burglary and sexually motivated burglary. If found guilty, he faces life in prison without parole.