Chauvin trial, attacks on Asians generate interest in “Bystander Intervention Training”

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — There’s an effort underway in Orange County to form what’s called a “Bystander Intervention Training program.

The training aims to teach people how to safely intervene in a disturbance.

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The heightened interest comes with the backdrop of Derek Chauvin’s trial. He’s the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd as a group of bystanders watched.

Then, in New York, another Asian-American was injured in an attack that was caught on video. That video shows a security guard witness the attack before walking away without rendering any aid to the victim.

At the Wah Lum Kung Fu Temple in Orange County, instructor Mimi Chan is working to develop a program to teach people how to react in those situations.

READ: “None of what we’re seeing is new”: America’s long history of anti-Asian violence and policy

“The people who are watching, closing the door, doing nothing to help...extraordinarily upsetting, and just angering,” Chan says. “There are very simple tactics and ways to intervene and be a bystander that can help de-escalate a situation.”

Chan says she’s enlisted the help of Orange County Sheriff John Mina for input on safe ways to intervene in a situation.

Distracting the people involved is one tactic. Chan says simply documenting what’s happening is another form of intervention.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says they’re on board with the idea and are working out the details of the program.

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“We’re going to do an online Zoom session so as many people can join, watch, learn, and it will be there in perpetuity to be able to learn from,” Chan says. They’re targeting the end of the month to start and plan to offer the training for free.

For updates on when the training starts, just follow Chan on social media @sifumimichan on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.