The Filipino community rallied outside of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office to seek justice for a Fil-Am family who was attacked in North Hollywood last month.
The victims, the Roque family, were also at the rally, calling on law enforcement to arrest their attacker identified as Nicholas Weber. They also expressed their thanks to the Filipino community.
"Of course, napakasaya ako kasi Hindi ko ineexpect etong community natin, willing tumulong, and the unity. It’s different when you feel the unity and support," mother Nerissa Roque said.
(Of course, I'm very happy. I didn't expect the community to be willing to help us, and the unity.)
Video from the Roque family shows Weber hurling racial slurs, then physically attacking them at a fast-food parking lot on May 13th. That's after he allegedly struck their vehicle with his.
Weber was released with a citation the night of the incident, but did not appear in court, leading to an arrest warrant. He is charged with one felony assault count and a misdemeanor assault count, both with hate crime enhancement.
As of this writing, there is no indication that the police will actively pursue Weber, whom the family has learned lives in their area.
"It’s very alarming and the fact there’s a lack of pressure from law enforcement is also concerning because this shouldn’t have happened in the first place. The only thing he was given was a citation. At the very least he should’ve been detained," daughter Patricia Roque insisted. "It really shows you how little law enforcement cares about our case and potentially other cases like these."
Meanwhile, the family's attorney, Sandy Roxas asserted, "we’re waiting for the defendant to be apprehended. We’re waiting for him to be taken into custody so he can face the charges... We hope with this rally, he will turn himself in or the police will take efforts to apprehend him. We hope his neighbors, his coworkers will come forward and identify him and let the law enforcement know his whereabouts."
The Roques are originally from Muntinlupa. Filipino advocate groups revealed during the rally that long before the May 13th incident, the family had been in the forefront of workers rights issues, fighting against wage theft, and rallying for the rights of immigrants and workers.
"This is a family that fights for the community. They fight for all of us and we are all here to fight for them," Katie Joaquin of the Filipino Migrant Center stressed.
So far, the Filipino Migrant Center has raised over $4,000 for the family. That is expected to help cover some of their lost wages while they had to take unpaid time off work to nurse their injuries.
For the Roque family, who are well acquainted with the struggles against oppression, they're prepared for a long and possibly stressful fight for justice, but they know it’s not just their battle but it's for all victims of anti-Asian hate.