Community leader “Uncle” Bob Santos led a rally against hookah bars in the International District neighborhood late Friday night, July 24.
The rally was also in response to the murder of Donnie Chin, director of International District Emergency Center (IDEC). Chin was shot and killed while in his car Thursday morning, July 24, at 8th Avenue and South Lane Street in the International District. While the circumstances of his death are still unclear, Chin had been vocal in his opinion that hookah bars brought undesired elements to the neighborhood. He was also murdered in the vicinity of a hookah bar.
Neighborhood residents have complained about late night noise, litter, and street racing from patrons of a hookah bar situated near senior housing in the area. In a community meeting in June, the hookah bar owner and representatives of the senior housing talked about ways to address concerns. The International Examiner will explore the issue further in a future article.
On Friday night, protestors marched through the International District carrying signs that read “Justice for Donnie!” What started as a nonviolent rally against hookah bars soon turned into a celebration of Chin’s life.