Community Outrage to Hmong Teen Killing

A recent statement released by the Committee to Support the Xiong Family to increase support for their organizing efforts surrounding the Chonburi Xiong incident:

Hmong Teen Killed by Police: Community Responses to Police Violence and Harassment in Warren and the Greater Detroit Area.

Since the fatal shooting of Hmong teenager, Chonburi Xiong, by Warren, Michigan police officers in September 2006, the “Committee to Support the Xiong Family,” an ad-hoc coalition of students, teachers, community members, and organizations, have joined efforts in not only seeking justice for the Xiong family and address issues of police violence against communities of color.

On the morning of September 17th, Chonburi Xiong, 18, was shot twenty seven times by Warren police officers in his own home. The Warren police officers responded to a domestic call by the Xiong family the day before, sparked by an argument between Chonburi and his parents leading to Chonburi firing his gun several times in his home and taking off with the family car. Chonburi came home that night and went to sleep. Without having called the police, the Xiong family awoke the next morning to the Warren policy who stormed their home without a warrant, detained the family upstairs and went down to the basement where Chonburi was sleeping. He was shot 27 times and the family was taken into custody where they were not notified of their Chonburi’s death until later that afternoon.

The Warren police state that the killing is “justified”; the city’s lawyer claims, “The twenty seven means nothing. The only thing the officers needed was justification to shoot one time. The twenty seven bullets don’t matter.”

This incident, however, is no anomaly; it is related to other forms of racially targeted police harassment and violence experienced by Asian American youth and other youth of color in the greater Detroit area. On November 26th, an off-duty office outside a retail store in Detroit fatally shot an unarmed sixteen-year-old African American youth, Brandon Martell Moore. Both families have not received an explanation or procedures from which to address their son’s death.

The growing suspicions of and also outrage over unexplained police violence prompted community members to form an ad-hoc group, “the Committee to Support the Xiong Family.” On February 3rd 2007, a memorial was held for the Chonburi Xiong. Hmong youth read poetry, community elders spoke on the history of Hmong in Michigan, the Xiong family made a public statement, and local organizations produced Know Your Rights Materials. Funds were raised to help support the Xiong family.

The ad-hoc committee continues to meet every Friday to work on community education and legal strategies to help the Xiong family and address police brutality in the surrounding area. The Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) Project is developing youth workshops on police brutality and Asian youth for the Hmong National Conference in Detroit and the University of Michigan High School Conference.

On April 12th, DAY Project and Detroit Summer will host a potluck on police brutality. The Committee to Support the Xiong Family continues to prioritize multiracial work that helps us find ways to form strategic alliances and support amongst communities of color.

For further information about the Xiong case and the ad-hoc committee please contact warrenincident@yahoo.com

Additional articles documenting the incident:

Detroit Free Press
Memorial, rally held for slain Warren teenager
By Gina Damron
2/4/2007

METRO TIMES
Shooting pains
Questions about Hmong teen’s death galvanize tightly knit community
by Sandra Svoboda
2/7/2007

The Macomb Daily
Family, activists demand new probe of teen’s shooting by cops
By Norb Fanz
January 31, 2007

 

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