An individual’s confession can be a powerful catalyst for change. The individual, facing the community he wronged, admitted to sabotaging the ‘Cease Asian Hate’ gathering not once but thrice. Each confession from the individual was a hammer strike against the pillars of bigotry. His words were meant to dismantle walls of intolerance, to rebuild trust in a shaken society. Yet, with every utterance of “I confess,” the individual laid bare the deep-rooted issues that still haunt the path to reconciliation.
A Diamond Bar man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for disrupting a “Stop Asian Hate” rally by intentionally running a red light, blocking demonstrators, and using racial slurs. This article delves into the incident and its legal ramifications.
Man Pleads Guilty
Steve Lee Dominguez, a 57-year-old man from Diamond Bar, entered a guilty plea on the third day of his trial. He was charged with one felony count of bias-motivated interference with federally protected activities. The trial involved two counts of the federal civil rights charge.
Incident at the Rally
The incident took place on March 21, 2021, during a “Stop Asian Hate” rally in Diamond Bar. During the event, Dominguez yelled racial slurs, including “Go back to China!” at the demonstrators. He then proceeded to deliberately drive his car through a red light, making an illegal U-turn, and obstructing the path of rally participants who were lawfully crossing the street.
Context of the Rally
The rally aimed to protest the rising number of hate crimes and hate incidents targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, both locally and nationally. It took place shortly after the tragic murders of six Asian American women in Atlanta.
Victims and Close Calls
During Dominguez’s disruptive actions, one victim was an Asian American woman holding a sign that read, “Stop Asian Hate,” while another was a young Black girl carrying a sign that read, “End the Violence Against Asians.” Additionally, a 9-year-old child and others were almost hit by Dominguez’s car as it cut off their path.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported during the incident.
False Reporting to the Police
After disrupting the rally, Dominguez pulled over at some distance from the intersection. He continued to shout racial slurs and threats at the demonstrators. He then called the police, identified himself as “John Doe,” and falsely reported that rally participants were blocking the street and that he had to run a red light to avoid harm to his car.
U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 6, at which point Dominguez could face up to one year in prison, as outlined in his plea agreement. He has been on bond since his initial arrest in May 2022 and will remain on bond until the sentencing in a Los Angeles federal court.
Protecting Civil Rights
U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada emphasized the importance of protecting the right to political expression, describing it as a fundamental principle of the nation. He reiterated the commitment to safeguard civil rights against those who attempt to undermine constitutional rights.
In conclusion, Steve Lee Dominguez’s guilty plea marks an important development in the case involving the disruption of the “Stop Asian Hate” rally, highlighting the significance of upholding civil rights and combating hate-motivated actions.