2021: Driver receives prison sentence for intentionally driving through Stop Asian Hate rally

A man from California has been sentenced to one year in prison by the Justice Department for driving through a crowded crosswalk of peaceful demonstrators while shouting racial slurs during a “Stop Asian Hate” rally in 2021.

A United States district court judge has sentenced Steve Lee Dominguez, a 58-year-old resident of Diamond Bar, Calif. This comes after he pleaded guilty in October 2023 to one count of bias-motivated interference with federally protected activities, according to the Justice Department.

“This defendant’s aim was to limit the rights of peaceful demonstrators,” stated United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “Although differing opinions are essential in a thriving democracy, it is imperative that we do not tolerate acts of violence against those with whom we hold disagreements. My office remains dedicated to protecting civil rights for every member of our community.”

“The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office is committed to upholding Constitutionally-protected rights and holding accountable those who violate them,” stated Mehtab Syed, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge. He emphasized this point while referring to the case of Mr. Dominguez, who committed a violent act against innocent civilians standing up against hate crimes targeting Asian individuals. Syed further expressed, “Today’s sentence is a testament to our dedication in safeguarding our society and ensuring that those who deny these rights face consequences.”

The Justice Department announced that the 2021 Stop Asian Hate rally aimed to bring attention to the rise in hate crimes and hate incidents targeting individuals from the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

The tragic incident in California occurred just five days after the devastating murder of six Asian American women in Atlanta.

According to the release by Justice Department officials, the driver purposefully drove his car through the crosswalk at the red light, made an illegal U-turn into oncoming traffic, and obstructed the path of several rally participants. The majority of these participants were women and a young child, who were lawfully crossing the street.

Dominguez narrowly avoided colliding with several protesters and a 9-year-old child. He promptly exited his car and proceeded to hurl racist insults at the assembled crowd, as reported by NBC.

Dominguez had been released on a $30,000 bond in May 2022 following his arrest for his role in the incident.

According to local media reports, in October 2023, Dominguez admitted guilt to engaging in bias-motivated interference with federally protected activities.

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MBS Staff
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