FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Police Department confirmed it is investigating a hate crime committed against the owners of Tasty Thai in central Fresno.
Last week, an online post accusing its neighbor of animal abuse included a photo of the restaurant.
The post went viral and people sharing and commenting on the images made racist and untrue remarks that Tasty Thai was serving dog meat.
Police say the dog abuse claims are also false.
"This is the type of stereotypical rhetoric that people will say to have fun and they don't realize the consequences in it," said Pao Yang, CEO of The Fresno Center.
Recent data from the FBI shows hate crimes against Asian Americans increased by 167 percent between 2020 and 2021.
The numbers for 2022 have not been released yet, but Yang says he believes the number of actual hate crimes is much higher than data shows.
"People are not reporting it. They don't speak up, they let it go," said Yang.
He said part of the work The Fresno Center does is teach minority communities the importance of reporting hate crimes.
Tasty Thai remains temporarily closed.
The owners told Action News they will likely announce a decision on whether they will reopen and when in the next few days.
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