Some demanding hate crime legislation after swastika painted on building, anti-Asian protests

Several recent incidents have sparked a demand for Georgia to pass a hate crime law.

CHAMBLEE, Ga. — A swastika painted on a Jewish business and anti-Asian protesters picketing outside of Chinatown are just two recent incidents that have some people in DeKalb County pushing for Georgia to pass hate crime legislation.

Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik learned that police are working to figure out who painted a Nazi symbol on the side of business owned by a Jewish woman.

Eti Lazarian said she found the symbol spray-painted on her Buford Highway business Friay.

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“We came and we saw the swastika and my heart stopped,” Lazarian said. “I felt personally violated.”

Doraville police are now investigating but Lazarian said it's proof that Georgia needs to to adopt a hate crime law.

Two days earlier, a group of protesters showed up in Chinatown in Chamblee.

"(They were) saying things like that the Chinese were taking over the U.S. in terms of business," Lily Pabian said.

Pabian runs a non-profit called "We Love Buhi." She said that while the protest wasn't violent, it shook people up. She said the protests and other anti-Asian sentiments have been fueled by anger over COVID-19 and its Chinese roots.

“We’ve had restaurants get crank calls, (saying) ‘Are you serving bat soup?’" Pabrain said. “Just general attacks.”

Doraville's mayor took to Facebook to condemn the protests, writing, "This type of racism has no place in our society. I'd like to let the people of Asian-Pacific Islander heritage know you are valued in the city of Doraville."

Pabian and Lazarin agree that it’s time for Georgia to pass hate crime legislation. Georgia is one of four state that doesn’t have those laws in place.

Lazarian said believes that whoever spray-painted the swastika wasn’t specifically targeting her because he’s Jewish, but she believes it’s someone who is just trying to intimidate in general.

Police are asking anyone with information on the case to call them.

Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot reports on state leaders response.