Justice for Chieu Di Thi Vo
Justice for Chieu Di Thi Vo
Why this petition matters
On May 11th, the Greensboro city council voted to release the body camera footage of Chieu Di Thi Vo's fatal shooting. However, they decided to release it at a press event, with Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott preemptively explaining each portion of the video and 911 calls. This is NOT transparency. This does not allow the public to pass their own judgement on the footage, and still gives the power to the police and media to spin the story as they wish. The footage of the press release was later released online, and you can view it here. You can also view the body camera footage here, without the police chief's presentation.
Upon viewing the body camera footage, more questions have been raised than have been answered. Are Greensboro police officers sufficiently trained to handle those who are neurodivergent (mentally ill), and/or those who have low English proficiency? Are they sufficiently trained to de-escalate all situations? We also know that this is not an isolated incident. We have seen and continue to see police brutality against brothers and sisters of color. This extensive list includes #EricGarner, #SandraBland, #TrayvonMartin, #MikeBrown, #JonathanFerrell, #ChieuDiThiVo, and #BongAckhavong (#SayTheirNames). What is done in police departments to prevent violence and discrimination against people of color? Questions as to how the Greensboro City Council has treated the situation have also been raised. We still wonder, why it took two years for the city to allow the Vo family to view the footage? The Vo family also wonders why there are discrepancies between what the police have been conveying to the public and to the family? At the May 3rd city council meeting, the same day that the Vo family watched the body camera footage of their loved one, they entered the meeting chamber, only to be completely unacknowledged by the council. The city blames the Vo family for allowing the case to go "dormant" for two years, and suggests that they were not interested in knowing how Chieu Di died. This is not true, and Chieu Di's death has never been has never been dormant in the hearts and minds of the Vo family and the community standing behind them.
In seeking answers for these questions, we ask for:
1. A review of the Greensboro Police Department's policies and training, regarding discrimination against people of color, neurodivergent, and limited English proficient individuals.
2. All Greensboro police officers should be comprehensively trained in de-escalation tactics, to avoid cases such as Chieu Di's where officers "shoot first, ask later".
3. Greensboro city government act with the humanity of those impacted by such tragedies in mind. No family should ever have to wait this long for closure, and should be treated with respect and empathy by the government officials.
On March 25, 2014, Chieu Di Thi Vo, a mentally-ill Vietnamese woman was shot and killed by former Greensboro city police officer, T.J. Bloch. For two years, Chieu Di’s family endured the emotional anguish of not knowing what happened to their beloved sister and daughter in her last moments. For two years, former officer Bloch and the Greensboro City Police Department continued to convey the narrative to the public that Chieu Di was yelling in a foreign language, that she lunged at former officer Bloch with a knife in her hand, that she was a physical threat to her mother, and that she refused to comply with his demands to drop her weapon. On May 3, 2016, the family was finally allowed to view the footage from the body camera that former officer Bloch wore the day he shot Chieu Di. After two years, the family finally knows that the narrative conveyed to the public is not the true story. From the family’s own statement to the public, “After viewing the video with our own eyes, we strongly believe that what we saw and heard simply do not match with the GPD's initial assessment of what happened… From the 5-6 times that we watched the video last Tuesday, it appeared that Bloch stood approximately 10-15 feet away from Chieu Di and only waited for a couple of seconds before he started opening fire on her. Within that distance, Bloch did not have to respond to Chieu Di with lethal force as she was not an imminent threat to his life.”