SF police reopen investigation into elderly Asian woman's death after suspect's new arrest


San Francisco police are reviving their investigation into the 2023 death of a 63-year-old Asian woman after the suspect in that case was recently arrested for assaulting another elderly Asian woman.

A case reopened: Yanfang Wu died after she was violently shoved on a Bayview sidewalk on July 3, 2023. No arrests were made and no charges were filed at the time as the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) ruled the incident an accident.

Person of interest: Thea Hopkins, the person who is alleged to have pushed Wu to her death, was arrested last week for attacking a 71-year-old Chinese woman “without provocation” in Bayview on March 4, reported the San Francisco Standard. Hopkins, 43, allegedly grabbed the older woman's hair from behind, punched her several times and threw her to the ground. Hopkins is currently detained on assault and elder abuse charges from the recent attack.

Call for transparency and justice: Hopkins’ involvement in the second attack sparked an outcry from Asian American activists and civil rights organizations who are now demanding transparency, a review of Wu's case and the release of surveillance video depicting the incident that led to Wu's death.

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“It’s alarming,” Asian Justice Movement organizer Charles Jung was quoted as saying. “Release that video and let people judge with their own eyes.”

Active investigation: The SFPD confirmed the case is reopened based on new evidence but declined to release the video, citing possible interference with the active investigation. Community groups plan to rally, honoring victims of anti-Asian violence and demanding justice for Yanfang Wu.

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has vowed to take a firm stance on unprovoked assaults against seniors, stating, "Everyone should be able to walk around our city freely without fear of being viciously attacked."

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