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A man drove through a crosswalk during a ‘Stop Asian Hate’ rally and authorities say they’re investigating the incident as a hate crime

Authorities in Los Angeles County say they are investigating an incident at a “Stop Asian Hate” rally over the weekend as a potential hate crime.

As demonstrators marched through a crosswalk in the city of Diamond Bar on Sunday to protest racism and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, a male suspect drove through a red light at the intersection yelling racist profanities at them, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. No one was reported injured.

The sheriff’s office described the suspect as a White man in his 50s and said his license plate was captured on video.

“Based on what we have learned, this is being investigated as a hate crime,” L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement.

In a video of the incident taken by a witness and shared with CNN, a black vehicle is seen making a U-turn through the group of protesters in the crosswalk while the driver yells, “F**k China” and N***er. Another video taken by that witness shows the man yelling similar profanities while his vehicle was pulled over by a sidewalk.

The sheriff’s department said it didn’t have any further information on the investigation to share at this time.

Demonstrators in cities across the country gathered over the weekend to protest hate and violence against Asian Americans and grieve for those killed at three spas in Georgia last week.

Community leaders say the Georgia shootings have exacerbated the fears of many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as crime and racist rhetoric against them have surged during the coronavirus pandemic.

Anti-Asian hate crimes more than doubled last year in 16 of the nation’s largest cities, according to an analysis of preliminary data by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Meanwhile, advocacy groups such as Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC have cataloged thousands of incidents of hate and discrimination against the AAPI community.

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