Internet users worldwide show solidarity with Thai man killed in hate crime in the US

Internet users around the world are changing their social media photos to a drawing of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who was pushed to his death in San Francisco last week.

Ratanapakdee was assaulted by Antoine Watson, 19, who pushed him to the ground before fleeing the scene and leaving the elderly man with fatal injuries.

Ratanapakdee died from his injuries two days later at the San Francisco General Hospital.

The entire attack was caught on a surveillance video which has gone viral. Many believe that the attack was racially motivated.

“Racism has once again proven deadly. Anti-Asian racism has become a very serious danger to all Asian Americans, particularly in San Francisco,” wrote Eric Lawson, Ratanapakdee’s son-in-law. “It’s time the authorities took serious action to combat it.”

On Monday, Jonathan D. Chang, a Los-Angeles based designer and illustrator paid tribute to Ratanapakdee by drawing a portrait of him with the caption, “My condolences to the family of Vicha Ratanapakdee. I hope justice will be served.”

Many social media users have changed their profile photos to the illustration of Ratanapakdee to stand in solidarity with the Thai man and raise awareness about racism.

Originally from Thailand, Ratanapakdee moved to San Francisco to help his family care for his grandchildren. The elderly man was on his usual morning walk after he finished his daily routine of prepping his grandsons for their day, before he was violently shoved and kicked by Watson.

Watson was arrested on the same day at his home in Daly City. He has been charged with murder and elder abuse, according to Chesa Boudin, the District Attorney of San Francisco.

Ratanapakdee’s family has also created a GoFundMe page to honor his death and raise funds for his funeral arrangements. The page has received an outpouring of support and has raised $32,331.


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