My apologies to the families of Fong Lee and Mike Cho for not posting these sooner. I've been very busy, but because I put this post off, I didn't get important info out about a forum that took place last Sat in LA about police brutality. I'm sorry I dropped the ball.
This issue of innocent people--especially men of color: Asian, black, Latino, Native American--being killed by police is not new. For those of us trying to raise awareness about it, we know how difficult it is to get people to respond or to even listen to the truth that the people who have taken an oath to serve-and-protect are recklessly, maybe deliberately, killing our people. It has to stop. But we can only stop it if we recognize this as a common struggle and unify and demand justice.
I'm posting updates from the families/spokes people of Fong Lee and Mike Cho. If you are not familiar with these cases, please research them. Read about them. Be outraged. Spread the word. Do something. Feel something.
I will keep posting as I receive info.
In struggle and solidarity and with love always,
PS--If you want to help through donations or by contacting the families, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
FONG LEE UPDATES:
Good afternoon all!
Just wanted to forward some media coverage and personal reflections/information regarding the court appeal this morning. Also, i just learned that Jason Andersen will be back on the force in as soon as one week, as he was recently exonerated from the domestic abuse charges filed against him last summer.
[I cannot post info about the appeals hearing and what happened in the court b/c the judges are still deliberating over the appeal request. It could be up to 3 months before we hear a decision. But I do want to post the details provided of Mrs. Lee and Shoua Lee's efforts that day. They are Fong Lee's mother and sister, and we should honor their strength and courage in seeking justice for Fong. -Michelle]
I also just wanted to say that Fong’s mom and sister, Shoua, never cease to amaze and inspire me. When people were congregated outside of the court and organizer Janelle Lee was in the middle her speech to the media, Fong’s mom rolled up in a SUV and jumped out quick with 20+ rally signs. She started passing those bad boys out like they were $20 bills. When that task was done, she stood strong for the cameras and offered support to her family. Shoua provided a statement for the media and did a good job fielding questions even though (what I thought) she was made a last-moment spokeswoman for her family. How these women and their family continue to fight for justice, and offer so much of themselves in the process, is painfully inspiring.
I’m not sure of next steps the community can work on to support Fong Lee’s family, but I do think we should consider the following:·
How to continue raising funds for the Lee family (Fong Lee Memorial Trust)
Community action regarding Jason Andersen’s reinstatement to the MPD
Community action in anticipation of the Court’s appeals ruling
Let's continue to talk and make moves!
With love & respect,
UPDATES ABOUT MIKE CHO:
Hello friends of Justice For Mike Cho,
Come and talk or just listen about police brutality, racism and how we
all need to stand together to survive the madness. Info at the
The trial in February was awful. The cops and their attorney couldn't
get their stories straight and got caught in many lies. The
surveillance video surfaced after they made their statements, which
disproved everything they were claiming. We had the nation's top
ballistics expert figure out the science of the shooting as well as an
extremely well-respected ex-LAPD Deputy Chief as an expert witness.
We had science and truth on our side but it wasn't enough. We were
not able to convince the entire jury of 8 (we were in Federal court
but somehow still ended up with a jury made up of all Orange County
residents) that the 2 La Habra cops used excessive force. They lied,
lied and lied, instilled fear into the jurors, tried to make Mike into
some lunatic criminal and even suggested "death by indifference."
They had ridiculously dumb arguments, inferred things that don't even
make any logical sense, basically said whatever they wanted to say.
The two weeks were quite infuriating to say the least. At least the
cops didn't win either. The jury was split so the judge declared a
mistrial. We are back for round 2 with a different jury in September
The police force is crooked and our justice system is flawed,
obviously. They've got guns and badges and bad attitudes and they
Will kill you but we cannot just sit back and do nothing. Right??
Many of the people on this email list knew Mike personally. You know
what a wonderful, amazing, kind, compassionate person he was. If
something this awful can happen to someone that good, what does that
mean for the rest of us? Aren't you outraged/scared/sad/anything?
Whether or not you knew Mike, don't you care about right and wrong,
about standing up for what you believe in, about the innocent lives
that are being stolen? Folks are outraged by the murder of 7-year-old
Aiyana Stanley-Jones by Detroit police, as they should be, as I am.
She's 7 so it's pretty easy to see that she's obviously sweet and
innocent and it's a terrible tragedy but really, sweet and innocent
people of all ages are getting killed by the cops All the time in this
country, Mr. Mike Cho included. They're killing us and they're
getting away with it. And they're laughing at us in court, if we're
even lucky enough to have it get to the courts. AREN'T YOU
PISSED??!?!?! Don't we need to do something??!?!
Whether you have money and no time, or time and no money, or even if
you have neither, there's Something you can do. Donate $ to those who
fight tirelessly and endlessly for justice, for our rights, for our
civil liberties. They're making this a better, safer world for us and
our descendants and they're doing it without any compensation and
barely anyone's gratitude. Email me, I'll get you in touch. Mike
could've been your son, your brother, your friend, YOU. We are all
Mike Cho. We are all Oscar Grant. Have you heard of OSCAR GRANT
yet?? He was on the ground and got shot in the back by an Oakland
BART cop on New Years (again), a year after Mike was murdered. It was
caught on several video cameras, here's one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tuAhoTPXEk
It's So clearly wrong that this is the first time in California that a
cop is being tried for on-duty murder. I repeat: this is the very
first time in California that a police officer is being tried for on-
duty murder. This isn't the first time that a CA cop has killed an
innocent person while on duty, obviously, so this is a HUGE deal. At
best, we get a civil trial but even that is difficult to come by.
This is a criminal trial and it starts June 14, 2010 at LA Superior
Court, Temple and Broadway in Downtown LA. Will you be there? I know
you have work and you live really far away and your son is sick. But
hey, at least he ain't dead.
There will be people in the courtroom as well as protesters outside.
If you're pissed, if you're sad, if you still have faith in humanity,
come and show your support. Oscar Grant's 4-year-old daughter will
appreciate it. All you have to do is show up. Power in numbers!!
The trial will probably go on for a while; you'll have plenty of
opportunities to take a day or two off of work.
cannot stress enough how important this trial is for every single
person who leaves their house. Well, actually, little Aiyana was
sleeping in her home when she was killed by the police. This case is
going to set the precedence. We cannot let more killer cops go free.
We have to let them know that we're fed up, that we're no longer going
to let them kill us without consequences. Up until now, they've been
able to freely draw and use their guns and they're trained to shoot to
kill. They've been able to kill and not only do they get to go free
without trial, they can get promoted. Did you know that one of the
cops who killed Mike got promoted to Corporal? Yup. We have to let
them know that we're no longer okay with this type of inhumane
treatment. If this killer cop is convicted of murder, it is a huge
victory for US ALL. The streets will be safer for us, the cops will
know that there are consequences to their actions, the family will
receive some justice, the world won't be so ugly, etc. There will
definitely be less police-involved shootings and deaths if this cop
goes to jail.
HUUUGE THANK YOUs to friends of JFMC and the Cho family: October 22nd
Coalition to Stop Police Brutality Repression and the Criminalization
of a Generation, Liz, Kayla, Sarah, Manila and especially, especially
Aidge. You saved me when I was losing hope in humanity and your work
is truly inspiring.
By the way, the only reason the Oscar Grant case became a criminal
trial (besides the obvious wrong of it) is that Oakland rose up and
the people were heard. And the reason the trial got moved down to LA
is because LA doesn't know much about what happened and they're trying
to sweep it under the rug! Let's not let them!!! Let's show Oakland
that their hard work wasn't in vain and support and protect our
cousins, brothers and sisters and our children. Let us stand together
and fight this together.
Justice For Mike Cho
Building Solidarity Across Race: A Community Forum Against Police
Violence sponsored by Leadership Development in Inter-ethnic Relations
and the Ida B. Wells Institute
Saturday, May 29, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
in the Community Room of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center
1145 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90017
The police killings of Mike Cho, Usman Chaudhry, Christian Portillo,
DeAundre Brunston, Oscar Grant shocked our communities.
Senate Bill 1070, signed into law in the state of Arizona, shocked the
Police Violence needs Racial Profiling in order to be successful.
The trial of the former policeman who shot Oscar Grant begins in Los
Angeles on June 1, the first time in the history of California that a
police officer has been charged with murder in the line of duty.
This forum will look at ways to strengthen the movement for Justice
for Oscar Grant and others across race.
For more information or to RSVP, Please contact Sam Sunshine at
213-241-0244 or Thandisizwe Chimurenga at 213-321-0575.
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