Drop all charges against Qingyou Li
This petition had 2,542 supporters
We demand that all criminal charges be dropped against Mr. Qingyou Li, a well-known and respected 64 year old monolingual Chinese man who is a retired calligraphy teacher. He has taught calligraphy to countless students and given many community service talks at the Flushing Library. Stricken with glaucoma, Mr. Li has lost most of his vision in his left eye.
On December 14, 2014, Mr. Li was walking alone on a sidewalk in Flushing when he accidentally tripped over a dog’s leash, causing the dog to bark. Mr. Li attempted to apologize, but the young man with the dog began cursing at Mr. Li and an altercation ensued. Mr. Li claims the taller and bigger young man struck him in his left eye and continued to beat him, shoving him into a nearby fence and forcing him to his knees. As Mr. Li was trying to prevent injury to his good eye (the right eye), a young woman with the man bit Mr. Li's hand. Mr. Li instinctively swung his hand back to keep the young woman away from him, but the young woman claims Mr. Li struck her in the face. Mr. Li asserts she then kicked him in his head and body, while the man continued to beat him. Both EMS and the police arrived, but neither provided Mr. Li with an interpreter. Mr. Li called his brother-in-law who is an American-born Caucasian, fluent in both English and Mandarin, to relay Mr. Li's account of what transpired. However, the commanding officer refused to allow him to translate in full Mr. Li’s story. Despite Mr. Li's account and the visible injuries to Mr. Li's eyes, face, shoulder, leg, and hand, the commanding officer ordered Mr. Li to be arrested. At the precinct, Mr. Li was detained for two hours, during which time, no interpreter was provided and no explanation given as to why he was arrested. Charged with assault, Mr. Li was given a desk appearance ticket to appear in court on January 9, 2015.
On December 16, 2014, Mr. Li went three times with an interpreter to Precinct 109 to bring a criminal complaint against the young man and woman which was his right to do, but each time he went he was told he could not file a complaint. It was only after the incident was reported to elected officials, that Mr. Li was finally allowed to to file a complaint on December 20, 2014.
A grave injustice has been done to Mr. Li. We demand that all charges against Mr. Li be dropped immediately.
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