Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee Remembered with Fundraisers and Rallies

Memorial funds and events organized for two Korean American women killed in NYC in 2022.

In the early hours of Sunday, February 13, a 911 call was made from the residents in the Chinatown building about a woman screaming for help. The police arrived within minutes and heard the screaming stop abruptly. Christina Yuna Lee was murdered in her own home by Assamad Nash who mercilessly stalked her to her apartment building. A vigil was held for Christina Yuna Lee outside her apartment and people held up signs saying “Enough is enough: Stop Asian Hate” along with pictures of Christina Yuna Lee during a rally in the Chinatown section of New York, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022.

christina yuna lee memorial
anti-asian hate crimes

This incident increased the fear and anger already in the NYC Asian community after a Korean American woman, Michelle Go, was pushed to her death off a Time Square Train station platform only weeks before. Go didn’t know the man standing behind her. Later, witness Maria Coste-Weber, who was waiting for a train to take her to a boxing class, would tell The New York Times, “[Go] had her back to this crazy person. She never saw anything. [The man] started running with both of his hands in front of him, like, tackling. But it was so fast, nobody realized what was going on before it was too late.”

michelle go poster

In the same way, Lee was blindsided by the circumstances of her death. Lee took an Uber to her Chinatown apartment since she knew there were a lot of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, especially against Asian women. She unlocked the apartment building entrance and stepped inside. As the door closed, Nash slipped in unnoticed behind her. Lee continued up to her sixth-floor apartment. The man followed, forced his way into her apartment and stabbed her repeatedly to death.

Both Martial Simon and Assamad Nash have criminal backgrounds and are homeless. Because of those reasons, government officials hesitate to say these two murders are Anti-Asian Hate Crimes. “People are hyper-aware of violence, of everything connected to violence and why the policies are failing,” Jan Lee, a member of Neighbors United Below Canal said. “They’re understanding the connection between homeless shelters and jails and violent crime and why they’re occurring. and what leads to the root cause of these things, and how structures, gigantic structures are not the solution to having safer streets. People are very aware of that connection now.”

As a Korean American woman living in Manhattan myself, these senseless murders affect me very deeply. After the pandemic, Anti-Asian Hate crimes have increased significantly, especially against Asian women. I feel like New York City is a no longer a safe place for me. When I walk alone, I have to be very cautious about who is ahead of me or behind me. I have to be very watchful around me at any time of day when I am outside. My heart screams just like the signs, “Enough is enough, Stop Asian Hate and I want to walk without fear!”

Facts about Anti-Asian Hate Crime since 2019

  • Anti-Asian Hate crimes against Asians rose 76% in 2020 compared to 2019.
  • Anti-Asian Hate crimes increased 339% nationwide in 2021 compared to 2020.
  • 30 of the 84 reported New York subway bias incidents were targeted at Asians in 2021, a 233% increase from 2020. And these numbers only reflect the tip of the iceberg regarding the hatred aimed at Asian riders, given that only 10% to 30% of violent incidents are reported to law enforcement.
  • San Francisco’s police department has released preliminary figures showing a 567% increase in reported hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2021.
  • As of August 2021, more than 9,000 anti-Asian incidents had been reported since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Stop AAPI Hate.

GoFundMe for Christina Yuna Lee and Michelle Alyssa Go

Christina Yuna Lee Memorial Fund

From GoFundMe: “Christina was full of life. She radiated positivity, joy and love. She supported her friends in everything that they did. She went above and beyond to make those she loved know she was there for them—never expecting anything in return. Her loss is an unfathomable tragedy that her loved ones and her community will struggle with for years to come.”

Michelle Alyssa

From GoFundMe: “Michelle was a vibrant, hilarious, beloved and thoughtful friend, daughter, sister, coworker, and public advocate. There has been a tremendous outpouring of sympathy and support from those who knew her around the world, as she is remembered as a caring, natural leader and loyal friend. She will be greatly missed.”

Hanyoo Park is a content creator for Best of Korea. She was born in Seoul, Korea, and currently lives and works in Manhattan. She is mom to a 4th grader and a proud maximalist who loves everything about life.

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