Street Scuffle Between Police and Chinese Driver
Sing Tao Daily
August 18, 2002.
Main Street witnessed a forceful arrest yesterday (August 17th)
afternoon over a double-parking violation. As the incident took
place in a busy area of Flushing, plenty were on hand to note the
rude manner in which a black police officer treated the owner of
the vehicle. Approximately two hundred observers raised frenzied
shouts of "police violence."
The recent wave of alleged violence on the part of law enforcement
officers against suspects has incited much controversy regarding
the proper extent of their powers. Yesterdays episode has
brought up the issue yet again.
Around 4 p.m., a 30-year-old Chinese man, Mr. Yang, stopped his
car for a moment before the "New China Supermarket"(Xin
Zhongguo Chaojishichang) at 41-42 Main Street to pick up some items
he had bought.
Two police officers in from the 109th precinct stopped their car
to ticket Yang for double-parking. A female Chinese officer got
out of the car to write up the violation. After an indignant Yang
pushed her arm aside, her partner, a black male officer, immediately
exited the police car and roughly caught him by the arms.
Seeing his son on the verge of arrest, Yangs agitated 70-year-old
father got out of his car and began to argue with the officers.
A crowd converged on the scene with fierce cries of police misconduct.
The tension mounted as more stopped to watch, forming a group that
extended all way to the "Golden Mall" (Huangjin Shangchang)
at the end of the block.
Eight additional police cars soon arrived to alleviate the situation.
A dozen or more hefty officers got off and proceeded to arrest father
and son for obstruction of justice (literally obstruction of public
duty/affairs). With strong arms, they pinned the white-haired 70-year-old
father to the ground before the staring eyes of hundreds. At that
very moment, observers upped their protests of police abuse. The
crowd disbanded when the two men were carted off to the precinct.
According to Mr. He of New China Supermarket, an eyewitness, "the
police didnt actually raise their fists and carry out a beating;
nevertheless their attitude was quite cold." For him, the fact
that the Yangs hadnt even stopped their car a minute when
they were fined was a bit unsavory. He felt sorry for the older
man, who received such brutal treatment in spite of his age. "And
they arent terrorists?" he added with regard to the police.
A member of the law enforcement community privy to the incident
remarked that the United States is a nation founded upon set laws;
police officers enjoy great leverage when it comes to enforcing
Suspects should never resist arresting officers under any circumstance,
and should especially avoid reacting with violence. If they believe
themselves to have been unfairly treated, they may always go to
court after the incident to seek proper means of redress. Suspects
should never challenge officials. Turning situations involving mere
fines into ones of physical aggression could potentially end in
injury, especially to members of the Chinese community who lack
a clear understanding of the law. As of now, the Yang family has
hired an attorney. They express dissatisfaction at their treatment
by the police yesterday, and are considering legal action.
Translated from Chinese by Kelvin Wu