US men face anti-Asian hate charges

·1-min read

Prosecutors in Seattle and San Francisco have charged men with hate crimes in separate incidents that authorities say targeted people of Asian descent amid a wave of high-profile and sometimes deadly violence against Asian Americans since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, the latest in a series of rallies in response what many said has become a troubling surge of anti-Asian sentiments.

"We can no longer accept the normalisation of being treated as perpetual foreigners in this country," speaker Tammy Kim told a rally in LA's Koreatown.

At a rally attended by more than 1000 people in San Francisco's Civic Center, the city's police chief, Bill Scott, drew loud applause when he said, "Hate is the virus, and love is the vaccination."

On Friday, prosecutors in King County, Washington, charged Christopher Hamner, 51, with three counts of malicious harassment after police say he screamed profanities and threw things at cars in two incidents last week targeting women and children of Asian heritage, The Seattle Times reported Saturday.

In San Francisco, Victor Humberto Brown, 53, made a first court appearance after authorities say he repeatedly punched an Asian American man at a bus stop while shouting an anti-Asian slur.

Hamner was being held on $US75,000 ($A98,000) bail on Saturday. Hamner has not yet appeared in court.