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Volunteer Group Walks Through Koreatown With A Protective Eye

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Volunteers with Neighborhood Safety Companions walk the streets in the wake of anti-Asian attacks. (Josie Huang/LAist)
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Nearly two months after a Korean American man was reportedly assaulted in Koreatown by assailants yelling racial slurs, dozens convened on the same corner determined to keep such an assault from happening again.

The group of more than 50 volunteers meeting at Kenmore Avenue and 6th Street Thursday night were told to keep an eye out for pedestrians and street vendors, many of whom work alone in Koreatown.

Similar volunteer efforts started months ago in cities like New York and Oakland, which have seen the highest concentrations of violent attacks on Asian Americans over the last year.

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Volunteer initiatives in Los Angeles have been slower to build, but the organizer of the Koreatown group -- the Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA) -- has found turnout growing each of four weeks its been canvassing the neighborhood.

PANA, sensitive to concerns that such groups engage in racial profiling, calls its effort Neighborhood Safety Companions.

"We're not trying to police people," said volunteer Linda Dao, a labor organizer who lives in Koreatown. "We're just ... trying to make sure that the neighbors know that we're here and that we're keeping our eyes open and making sure people feel safe."

Other organizations such as Compassion in SGV and Asians With Attitudes offer to escort anyone who needs their services in the San Gabriel Valley.

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