Daily Beast - Members of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, Florida, were busy prepping for an early morning Saturday Mass on July 11, 2020, when a white minivan sped through the parking lot, jumped the curb, and crashed through the doors. . .
Macchiaroli, who vetted potential hate-crime charges during his time with the Department of Justice, said evidence for hate-crime charges in the case against Long—the alleged Georgia shooter**—**wasn’t as obvious. “What are you going to point to?” he said. “If you can’t come up with anything besides circumstantial, ‘Well, most of the people were Asian, so it must be,’ well, that is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. . .”
Stanley Mark, senior staff attorney for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, disagreed. He noted that Long chose to drive to specific spas and passed a number of other adult entertainment businesses along the way. “He picked these places and these places were owned and operated by Asians,” Mark told The Daily Beast.
Mark added that while there may not be much direct evidence of anti-Asian sentiments from Long based on his words or past, “there is a hell of a lot more evidence in the context of this recent spike of anti-Asian violence that’s been going on since last year. . .”