Diamond Bar man who drove through ‘Stop Asian Hate’ rally sentenced to prison

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A person's outstretched arms hold up a handwritten cardboard sign that reads, "STOP ASIAN HATE".

LOS ANGELES ­— A Diamond Bar man was sentenced May 6 to one year in federal prison for disrupting a “Stop Asian Hate” rally by deliberately running a red light, blocking the path of demonstrators and yelling racial epithets at them.

Steve Lee Dominguez, 57, pleaded guilty last year in downtown Los Angeles to one felony count of bias-motivated interference with federally protected activities. He was in the midst of trial on two counts of the federal civil rights charge when he entered his plea, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

At the rally in Diamond Bar on March 21, 2021, Dominguez yelled, “Go back to China!” and other racial slurs at the demonstrators. He then deliberately drove his car through an intersection’s crosswalk at the red light, made an illegal U-turn and cut off the route of several rally participants lawfully crossing the street.

The rally was a protest against the increase in hate crimes and hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders both locally and nationally — including the murders of six Asian American women five days earlier in Atlanta.

Prosecutors say one victim at the rally was an Asian American woman carrying a sign that read, “Stop Asian Hate.”Another victim was a Black girl who carried a sign that read, “End the Violence Against Asians.”

Another person who was cut off in the crosswalk was a 9-year-old child, and Dominguez’s car narrowly missed coming into contact with her and others, according to the indictment.

No injuries were reported.

Dominguez then pulled his car over some distance away from the intersection, got out of the car and continued to yell racial epithets and threats at the demonstrators. He then called the police, identified himself as “John Doe” and falsely reported to police that the rally participants were blocking the street and he had to run a red light “because they were about to trample my car,” the indictment, filed in Los Angeles federal court, said.

Dominguez also requested that police “get some control out” at the intersection.

“The right to political expression is a bedrock principle of this nation,” Martin Estrada, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement after the guilty plea. “Mr. Dominguez’s decision to attack a peaceful rally meant to raise awareness of anti-Asian hate was both unlawful and un-American. My office will remain steadfast in our commitment to safeguard civil rights against those who would seek to undermine our constitutional rights.”

One response to “Diamond Bar man who drove through ‘Stop Asian Hate’ rally sentenced to prison”

  1. Robert Slim Avatar

    Justice served for endangering lives and perpetuating hate. May this sentence send a strong message against all forms of discrimination.

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