Buddhist temple

Suspected arson attack at Little Tokyo Buddhist temple investigated for hate crime

Police are investigating a hate crime against a Buddhist temple in Little Tokyo.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, someone broke into Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple around 7:45 p.m. and lit a burning lantern. The suspect smashed the temple window during the break-in, Los Angeles police said.

As of Friday night, no arrests were made, Los Angeles police said.

Thursday’s alleged hate crime comes as Asian-American communities across the country remain on the alert in the face of the continued increase in violence against Asian Americans.

In the wake of the alleged attack, California Congressman Miguel Santiago, who represents Los Angeles, released a statement saying it touched his heart after hearing that the temple had been “severely vandalized.”

The mayor of Los Angeles has also weighed in on recent attacks on Asian Americans.

“At our AAPI communities, we are by your side and we will do everything in our power to protect you from these senseless attacks,” Garcetti said on social media. “To all those who commit violence against our compatriots Angelenos, you will be held accountable for your actions.”

Last week, Los Angeles City Council member Gil Cedillo released a statement saying he was “disgusted” by the recent attacks on Asian Americans.

Below is a statement released by the Los Angeles Council’s First District representative:

“I am dismayed and dismayed by the shocking increase in senseless violence perpetrated against members of the Asian American community. The perpetrators must be brought to justice and prosecuted with all the rigor of the law. As a member of the A council that represents a significant number of Americans of Asian, Chinese, Korean and Filipino descent, I am disgusted by these horrific acts of violence which have left people dead and injured. These attacks, fueled by racism and xenophobia perpetuated by failing national leaders over the past four years, have not only wreaked physical havoc on them, but a severe emotional impact on them and their loved ones. As our entire city and nation celebrate the Lunar New Year, we all must do our part to combat the alarming rise in anti-Asian violence.

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