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Saturday, May 8, 2021

New York: Doormen accused of failing to help an Asian-American woman fired

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Two doormen, who didn’t help an Asian-American woman who was attacked on a New York street, have been fired.

CCTV footage shows that the pair were looking on from inside the luxury apartment block where they worked as 65-year-old Vilma Kari was repeatedly kicked and stamped on just feet away.

One of them was even seen to close the building’s door as she lay on the ground seconds after the attack ended.

They did not go outside and approach the victim until more than a minute after the assault ended and the thug had walked away.

Ms Kari, who emigrated from the Philippines several decades ago, was attacked outside the Manhattan building while walking to church.

She suffered serious injuries including a fractured pelvis in the attack and needed hospital treatment.

The attack drew widespread condemnation and raised concerns about what appeared to be the failure of bystanders to help.

It comes amid a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic – including a deadly shooting spree in Atlanta where six women of Asian descent were among the eight dead – which led to the #StopAsianHate movement on social media.

The suspect in the New York attack, Brandon Elliot, 38, has been charged with assault and attempted assault as hate crimes.

The building’s management company, The Brodsky Organization, which initially suspended the two doormen, announced they had been sacked following an investigation.

“While the full lobby video shows that once the assailant had departed, the doormen emerged to assist the victim and flag down an NYPD vehicle, it is clear that required emergency and safety protocols were not followed,” the company said in a statement.

The firm also committed to give its staff further training, including “anti-bias awareness and bystander intervention”.

The doormen’s union, SEIU 32BJ, said the two workers were challenging their sacking.

Union president Kyle Bragg said: “We believe we must root out systemic racism in all its forms.

“We believe that all union workers, especially workers of color who are often the subject of unfair treatment on the job, have a right to a fair process as outlined in their contract.”

The union previously said the doormen waited until the attacker walked away to check on Ms. Kari and flag down a nearby patrol car because they thought he had a knife.

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