Daniel Dae Kim Says His Sister Connie 'Is Not Able to Run Anymore' After a Violent Hate Crime
When Daniel Dae Kim watched a Georgia Sheriff's spokesman describe a gunman — one who had allegedly just killed six Asian spa workers — as having "a very bad day" earlier this year, it touched a nerve. Six years ago, Kim saw law enforcement seemingly downplay an attack on his younger sister Connie.
Connie, an avid runner, was out on her daily workout, Kim tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, when a man yelled at her to get out of the way, which she did.
"This man specifically targeted her because of her race and tried to run her over with his car repeatedly," says Kim, 53. The driver struck Connie twice, knocking her to the ground. Now, says Kim, "Because of the injuries sustained in that attack, she is not able to run anymore."
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Even worse, Kim says, when Connie reported the attack to law enforcement, officials told her it wasn't worth it to try for hate crime charges, because proving intent is too high a bar. Instead, prosecutors said, "You should just hope for whatever you can get," Kim told CNN in March. The Kims said they later discovered that the man, who was convicted of reckless driving, a misdemeanor, allegedly had a history of violence against Asian women.
Connie says her brother has been her rock. "I know that Dan always has my back, and that gives me a feeling of stability and security that is invaluable," she says.
In addition to his sister, Kim has been speaking out on behalf of the thousands of victims of anti-Asian hate, teaming up with actor Daniel Wu to offer $25,000 to find the suspect who assaulted a 91-year-old man in Oakland's Chinatown, and testifying to Congress about the need for anti-hate legislation.
"I think of my efforts as one of a collective," he says. "The Asian-American community as a whole started standing up and speaking out in a way I hadn't seen in a long time."
As one of the few East Asian faces on TV for the past two decades, Kim has always held a prominent place in the AAPI community. After breaking through in 2004 on the hit drama Lost, where he was a cast regular for six seasons, he starred on Hawaii Five-O for seven seasons.
Next month, he takes on his first leading role in The Hot Zone: Anthrax, the second season of the National Geographic anthology series, which follows the manhunt for the person who sent anthrax-laced letters to members of Congress and the media.
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"My character is named Special Agent Matthew Ryker," says Kim. "He is an FBI agent who tracks down the culprit of these attacks. I'm joined in the cast by Tony Goldwyn, who plays a character based on a real life character. My character is a fictional one that is an amalgam of different people who actually worked the investigation."
The Hot Zone: Anthrax premieres Nov. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on Nat Geo and will stream on Hulu.
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