Chinatown community calls for change after fatal stabbing of Asian American woman
The Chinatown community is demanding change following the fatal stabbing of an Asian American woman over the weekend.
Residents rallied Tuesday outside the home of Christina Yuna Lee, 35-year-old Korean American who was stabbed to death inside her apartment early Sunday morning.
"She could have been your friend, she could have been my friend, she could have been my sister, she could have been me," said former Queens Borough President Sharon Lee.
"She was just a dream to have around. I haven't been able to sleep since Sunday," said Brian Chin, the landlord of the building - which he said has been in his family for decades. He said he immediately connected with Lee when they learned they were both Rutgers University graduates.
"She had graduated only a few years prior to me. She was smart, successful, independent -- everything that people should aspire to be," Chin said.
Early Sunday morning, police say 25-year-old Assamad Nash followed Lee into the building and up the stairs before pushing his way into her apartment.
Once inside, authorities say a neighbor heard screams and called 911.
When police arrived, they say they couldn't get in.
According to the criminal complaint, Nash allegedly imitated the voice of woman and said they didn't need police.
When officers were finally able to get inside, they say they found Lee with more than 40 stab wounds.
Police took Nash into custody at the scene and charged him with murder and burglary.
Court records show he was out on supervised release with numerous prior arrests, most recently for punching a stranger on the subway.
While some blame lack of housing or mental health services, Chin and several others in attendance at the rally blamed the bail reform laws currently in place.
"Just looking at the broad facts of the case, no matter how the politicians are trying to spin it, he would not have been released if this was a couple of years ago before the bail reform," Chin said.
A memorial was set up outside Lee's home as the community vowed to not forget her or the horror that unfolded six flights up inside her home.