Durham mayor, Asian-American business owners talk safety

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- Durham city leaders pledged support for Asian-American businesses Wednesday night.

"You all know that a terrible tragedy occurred not long ago," said Mayor Steve Schewel outside City Hall in Durham. "We are here to be supportive of the community and to talk to the business leaders of the community about how we can be helpful."

Mayor Schewel said the business leaders reached out to him in light of the shooting that rocked the Asian-American community nearly a month ago. Police say Hong Zheng, who owned China Wok in Durham, was attacked and shot to death in his driveway.

"I believe there are a few people in our community that have targeted several Asian-American business owners because they know that they have been carrying cash," Schewel said.

The mayor said it's necessary to get these business owners to change their perception of the banking system - so that they're putting money into the bank versus taking it home.

"Though a tragic, horrific crime happened in Durham, everyone is still hopeful," said Ping Zhang, director of the Raleigh chapter of the Carolinas Chinese American Civic Center.

Mayor Schewel said there are more steps being taken by Durham Police to keep these business owners safe.
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