CNN’s Lisa Ling Challenges Police Reluctance to Label Atlanta Shootings a Hate Crime: Taking Suspect’s Word About Motive ‘Seems Like a Joke’


CNN documentary journalist Lisa Ling publicly called out Georgia police officials for their reluctance to label the triple mass shootings around Atlanta as a hate crimes, because of what the alleged killer told them about his motive.

During an appearance on OutFronton Wednesday night, Ling, who hosts the documentary show This Is Life, spoke with host Erin Burnett about her outrage over the refusal to officially recognize that the suspect clearly targeted women and Asian-Americans. In a widely-panned press conference earlier in the day, Georgia police officials said the alleged killer had a “bad day,” and said they hadn’t yet ascertained if the attacks were racially motivated, since the suspect had told them he targeted his victims because of his “sexual addiction.”

“When you spoke with us earlier,” Burnett noted to Ling, “you said you didn’t sleep all night after learning of the shooting, that these attacks are all consuming for you right now. Tell me about it.”

“Well Erin, when it seems like its open season on people who look like me, who look like my parents, who look like children, my children, it’s really hard to think about anything else,” Ling explained. “Every time, it seems, I open my social media or my media, I am seeing and hearing about more attacks on Asian people. And frankly, I am right now sick of seeing the face of the man who massacred eight people last night. In fact, I had to scour the Internet for the names of the people he killed.”

Burnett then noted that six of the eight murder victims were Asian-American women and that the suspect has said he intentionally targeted spas and massage parlors where young Asian-American women were known to work.

“If this were any other minority group that were targeted in a shooting spree, would there be this hesitancy?” Burnett asked.

“That’s the question we’re all asking,” Ling replied. “If this were a synagogue or a Black church, there wouldn’t be a question. This terrorist targeted three Asian massage parlors. And asking the assailant whether this was racially motivated and taking his word for it seems like a joke to me. We know this is definitely a hate crime against women. That we know. And by the way, and as you said, this happened days after 75-year-old Pat Ho, an elderly man in the Bay area man was brutally attacked and, as you mentioned, there have been numerous attacks since then.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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