The Justice for the Roques campaign (J4R) is a campaign organized by community members and community organizations to raise awareness to Stop Asian Hate and support victims of anti-Asian violence. Since June 2022, the campaign has crowdfunded financial aid for the Roque family, canvassed local neighborhoods, and organized community meetings as well as rallies at court hearings. Leading organizations include the Filipino Migrant Center, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), and Migrante Los Angeles.
Timeline of the Campaign
May 13, 2022
Roque family experienced verbal and physical assault in an anti-Asian hate crime. The assailant, Nicholas Weber, is given a citation to appear in court and released by LAPD.
June 8, 2022
Weber failed to appear in court for scheduled arraignment.
June 16, 2022
Weber was arrested on an unrelated matter in Costa Mesa.
June 17, 2022
Community mobilization event to demand Weber’s swift arrest and prosecution with the Roque family still in fear for their safety.
*June 22, 2022
Roque family informed of Weber’s arrest almost a week after the fact. Weber is in custody at an LA jail but refused to go to court for the mandatory arraignment hearing.
*June 23, 2022
The Roque family and supporters waited at the courthouse but Weber refused to come to court.
*June 24, 2022
The Roque family and supporters return to the courthouse and yet again, Weber refused to come to court. An extraction order is filed to demand the defendant appear in court.
*June 27, 2022
Weber appeared in court to hear charges against him and pleaded not guilty.
*July 11, 2022
The judge ruled that Nicholas Weber remain in custody with $150,000 bail and a protective order for the area around the Roque family's residence was issued in the event that Weber is released during trial.
*Aug 19, 2022
The judge announced the next hearing will be set for September 30, 2022 to allow for additional evidence gathering. DDA Kim stated that additional interviews with the family would be collected and his team would review an enhanced and slowed down version of the video of the crime.
*Sep 30, 2022
*Oct 12, 2022
Due to continued community pressure, DDA Kim submitted upgraded charges, elevating the misdemeanor battery charge for the attack on Nerissa Roque to felony battery.
The judge announced the final preliminary hearing date setting would take place on January 11 and a preliminary hearing would take place on January 24.
*Jan 11, 2023
The judge granted the defense a continuance despite DDA Kim’s objection. The next date setting hearing was scheduled for March 6. The January 24 preliminary hearing was canceled.
*March 6, 2023
The Roques and the family continue to show up at the courthouse. After countless delays, a preliminary hearing date was finally set for April 4.
*April 4, 2023
Preliminary Hearing (Day 1): Almost one year after the attack, the Roques finally get to share their experience in court. However, despite an early morning call time, the family and 150+ community members had to wait for almost 6 hours before the hearing started. Patricia Roque took the stand first.
*April 5, 2023
Preliminary Hearing (Day 2): Patricia continued her testimony, followed by that of Nerissa Roque. Nerissa faced blatantly racist assumptions and was accused of having ill-intentions for raising awareness of Anti-Asian hate. The Public Defender questioned the need for English interpretation, despite Nerissa's legal right to have one.
*April 6, 2023
Preliminary Hearing (Day 3): The court failed to prepare adequate accommodations for a Filipino interpreter for Gabriel Roque, which led to more delays and disruptions during the hearing. Gabriel, who is diabetic, was made to wait alone in a separate room without food or water for over an hour while they found an interpreter. The judge needed additional time to review evidence and set the next hearing date for April 17.
*April 17, 2023
Preliminary Hearing Results (Day 4): The judge charged Weber with felony counts of assault and great bodily injury, butto the disappointment of the family, the hate crime enhancement was dropped. Despite the racial slurs caught on video and because Weber also attacked a non-Asian bystander, the court cited it was not motivated by racist bias and also because of the amount of time that passed between the racial slur and when the physical attack took place. After the hearing, the 150+ community members, including members of the Roque family who didn't testify, rallied outside to express their hurt and indignation of the preliminary hearing results but pledged their unwavering commitment to supporting the Roques and other im/migrant, BIPOC victims seeking justice from an unjust system.
What was originally estimated to be a two hour preliminary hearing took over 10 hours and spanned four days.
*May 1, 2023
Arraignment Hearing: On International Workers Day (May Day), the family and community appeared in court where Weber pled not guilty to the charges. A pre-trial hearing is set for May 26. The family later joined other community organizations in a march in Downtown LA as part of the May Day commemoration.
May 13, 2023
One year anniversary of the attack: The Roques and community members, along with others watching via livestream, gathered at the location where the attack took place one year ago.
*May 26, 2023
Pre-Trial Conference: The Roques and the community demonstrated to the public (defender) that they aren't backing down in their efforts to fight for genuine justice & continued to acknowledge that the Roques suffered a hate crime. The next date-setting hearing was scheduled for June 22.
*June 22, 2023
The Roques and the family attended a pre-trial date-setting hearing, with the community amplifying that their case hasn't been resolved in their eyes. The next date-setting hearing was scheduled for July 13.
*July 5, 2023
Meeting with the District Attorney's Office: The Roques met with Deputy District Attorney Kim, with the community rallying their continued support for the family & letting the DA's office know that they continue to stand the Roques in the fight for justice inside and outside the courtroom.
July 13, 2023
Although the Roques were not present for this pre-trial date-setting hearing, community members mobilized. The next pre-trial date-setting hearing was scheduled for August 7.
*August 7, 2023
*August 18, 2023
This was one of the Roques’ final pre-trial hearings, with the community continuing to show their support by mobilizing to the courthouse or joining via livestream. By the end of this hearing, the Roques decide to not move forward with a trial.
The Roques and the community mobilize to the Van Nuys Courthouse West one last time. Given the limited favorable choices, a plea deal was reached between the prosecution and the defense. Due to dissatisfaction with the court results and the dropping of the hate crime conviction from the charges, the Roques faced limited options in advancing their case. However, the Roques and the community are resolved to pursue justice through other means outside the courtroom.
*Court hearings at Van Nuys Courthouse West attended by the Roque family and supporters. For each court date, the family had to take time off from work and missed out on earning wages.
To support the family in their physical and emotional recovery we are calling for the community to help fundraise for their medical needs! Please donate here to relieve the Roque family of financial burdens and allow them to recover physically and emotionally as they pursue justice.
As of March 31, 2023, we have fundraised a over $10K for the family. With the incident reaching its 1-year mark, the family still hasn't received financial or material support from the LA County Bureau of Victim Services or through the Philippine government's Assistance to Nationals program.