ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LEGAL GROUPS URGE CHICAGO OFFICIALS TO
INVESTIGATE ANTI-ASIAN AND ANTI-IMMIGRANT VIDEO INCIDENT
Jianqing ‘Jessica’ Klyzek is seen in surveillance photo during a vice raid on a tanning salon from last summer cowering as police berate her
One officer can be made out to strike the 5-foot-2 China-born American citizen on the head as she kneeled down on the ground in handcuffs
Klyzek, 32, is now suing Chicago police alleging brutality and hate crimes
She also claims several of her arresting officers lied to a grand jury in an attempt to frame her
Racism? While she screamed and demanded to know what she’d done, footage from the incident clearly show an officer screaming threats and allegations that Klyzek, who is a naturalized citizen, is not an American
WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and its Chicago-based affiliates — the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago (AABA), Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago (CABA), and Korean American Bar Association of Chicago (KABA) — along with the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA) and the Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago (IABA) express concern over the actions of certain Chicago police officers captured by recently-released video surveillance, which depicts officers using racist and anti-immigrant language during an arrest last summer.
“The actions shown in the video raise questions about how people of color and immigrants, particularly those who are limited English proficient, are treated by Chicago police officers,” said Bill Simonitsch, president of NAPABA. “We urge Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to fully investigate this incident and work with the local Asian Pacific American community to ensure that immigrants and all people of color feel protected by local law enforcement officials.”
According to a lawsuit filed in federal court on May 14, 2014, Chicago police officers verbally harassed and physically abused a Chinese American spa manager during a raid on a local business in July 2013. The security video shows officers entering the spa, apprehending the woman and striking her while she was kneeling and handcuffed. Police officers can be heard on the video making racist and anti-immigrant remarks during the arrest. One officer refused to believe that the woman was an American citizen and told her “You’re not f—— American! I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f— you came from.”
NAPABA, AABA, CABA, KABA, FALA, and IABA urge the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department to fully investigate the specific allegations raised by the video, determine whether any systemic problems of official misconduct exist, and take appropriate action to ensure that all visitors and residents, regardless of gender, race, national origin, immigration status, or English proficiency, feel welcome and safe in the City of Chicago.
Also, OCA, Asian Pacific American Advocates, and OCA-Greater Chicago, a chapter of OCA, are dismayed by the actions of Chicago police officers in the case of Jinqing Klyzek.
“We hope that Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy will conduct a thorough investigation on this incident and hold the officers responsible for Ms. Klyzek’s mistreatment accountable for their actions,” said OCA Chicago President, Janny Leung.
In July of 2013, officers verbally harassed and physically abused Jinqing Klyzek, a Chinese American spa manager, during a raid on a Chicago spa. Security footage of the raid shows an officer physically subduing and then striking Ms. Klyzek while she was kneeling. The footage further shows another officer telling Ms. Klyzek that she is “not f—ing American,” and threatening to “put [her]in a UPS box and send [her]back to wherever the f— [she]came from.” Ms. Jinqing Klyzek recently brought a federal civil rights lawsuit against those officers and the Chicago police department.
“As a national civil rights organization, we are concerned that this incident is neither incidental nor isolated. Mayor Emanuel must ensure that our law enforcement officers behave in a manner that promotes trust and cooperation rather than fear and retaliation,” said Sharon M. Wong, OCA President. “The city of Chicago must safeguard the civil liberties and dignity of all Chicago residents, regardless of their national origin or language proficiency, and ensure that they are not harassed or mistreated by local law enforcement officials.”