5/7/2009 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Rally for Justice for Fong Lee

RALLY FOR JUSTICE FOR FONG LEE

Unarmed man killed by Minneapolis cops
Monday, May 11, 8:45 a.m.
Federal Courthouse
316 N Robert Street, St. Paul

Parking/transportation
Shuttle buses will be available starting at 8:00 a.m. from Lao Family Community of Minnesota, 320 W University Ave, St. Paul
OR meet at 8:00 a.m. at Joseph’s Grill, 140 Wabasha St S, St. Paul, and march with others across the Robert Street bridge to the Courthouse

On July 22, 2006, Fong Lee was riding his bike with friends when Minneapolis cop Jason Andersen and state trooper Craig Benz decided a little "aggressive policing" was in order. They rode their squad car up on the group of young men and, according to several witnesses, hit the rear tire of Fong's bike. Fong either fell or jumped off the bike as the officers ran out of their squad car. Andersen was pointing his gun as he chased Fong through a school playground. Andersen shot Fong 4 times in the back. As Fong lay dying, Andersen shot him 4 more times. 31 seconds after the start of the encounter, Fong Lee was dead. Throughout the entire ordeal, Benz never pulled his weapon.

MPD Lies and Corruption

After the killing, MPD claimed Fong had a gun. However, witnesses and evidence point strongly to a gun being planted on the scene by cops. The gun cops claim was recovered next to Fong's body was in their property room up to the time of the shooting and was likely brought on the scene by a sergeant. The gun had no fingerprints, DNA or blood on it. Further, Fong had a defensive wound in the palm of his dominant hand. The squad car video was rendered useless because it remained in the squad car to which Andersen had access for 10 days after the incident and has, according to experts, been partially erased. What the cops didn't count on is a video of the incident captured by a camera at the school. That video clearly shows that Fong never had a gun.

Case of Extreme Importance to Community

This case is emblematic of all that is wrong with the MPD and the judicial system that backs them up. Racial profiling, corruption, manipulation of evidence and outright lies are all part of this case. Immediately after the incident, cops went into spin mode to dirty up Fong Lee with lies that he was a gang member or criminal (he was neither). An internal non-investigation exonerated Andersen and a bogus grand jury process gave prosecutors political cover not to prosecute Andersen. The story about the gun has changed at least three times. Hennepin County if fighting tooth and nail to block release of the grand jury transcript even to the Lee family's lawyers. On top of everything else, the MPD spit in the face of the community by pinning a medal of "valor" on Andersen.

Lee Family Seeks Justice--Stand with Them!

The Lee family has always held that their son was murdered by Andersen based on race. They have bravely stood up to the lies and corruption of the MPD and continue to press forward, recognizing the importance this case has to the community. We must stand with this family as they try to bring at least some good out of Fong's death by forcing this system to be accountable and as they push for changes to prevent such tragedies in the future. This case goes to court on May 11 and there is a rally outside the courthouse. WE NEED YOU THERE to show the courts that the community supports the Lee family's demands for justice.

Rally sponsored by Coalition for Community Relations, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Lao Family Community of Minnesota, Inc., Minneapolis NAACP, Take Action Minnesota.

JUSTICE FOR FONG LEE!
TAKE AWAY ANDERSEN'S MEDAL!
INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR!
PROSECUTE KILLER COPS!


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