Justice For Dylan Yang
This petition had 4,194 supporters
In February 2015 a conflict between a dozen teenagers led to one boy’s death, one suffering serious injuries, and one possibly spending of rest of his life in prison. If the notion holds true that “it takes a village to raise a child,” then as a community we failed. There is no winner in this ordeal, just broken lives. The challenge now is how we begin to heal and repair these broken lives. Our hearts grieve for the mother who had to bury her son and the one who prepares to say goodbye as hers is taken away in handcuffs.
But while we can't bring back a lost life, we can prevent another from being lost.
Dylan Yang was born in Wausau on November 30, 1999, the second of three children to Annahli Vue and John Yang. His older brother is Ethan, and his younger sister is Ashton. Dylan’s mother, Annahli, came to the US as a refugee from Thailand, graduated with a GED, and while pursuing her nursing degree, worked as a medical assistant, interpreter, and community outreach patient advocate for over 10 years before becoming a licensed nurse. She has been providing care at St. Clare’s Hospital for the past three years. Dylan’s dad received a degree in carpentry and worked at Marathon Electric for a number of years. As proud new Americans, Dylan’s parents strived for an education, worked hard to provide for their children, and taught each of them about love, respect, and hard work.
As a child, Dylan excelled in art. He could be found drawing for hours and putting puzzles together that even adults found difficult. In elementary school, he would complete 2,000-piece Lego puzzles and build Star Wars ships and other action figures. He also enjoyed wrestling, soccer, and music. As Dylan got older he started his own break dancing group called the Stylist Shadow Crew and taught himself how to play the piano.
On the night of the incident Dylan was all dressed up and ready to go meet his girlfriend at a high school dance. He was excited to show off his new break dance routines. However, we all know that he never made it to the dance.
Teenagers should not have to defend themselves from violent threats in their own homes. Dylan was forced to react to a situation that any clear-minded adult would find difficult.
We reject the idea that a 15-year-old waiting to attend a high school dance, who was forced to react in a split-second decision by grabbing the closest kitchen utensil to defend himself from an armed attacker in his own home, constitutes Wisconsin’s definition of a gang member engaging in gang activity.
We believe that a lenient sentence which allows Dylan to learn from this incident and transitions him to rejoin the community would be healing and beneficial to the entire community. One child’s life is lost, let’s not lose another one. We hope this petition will also call upon all of us as parents, school administrators, law enforcement, youth social workers, and county officials to reexamine the roles we played in this tragedy.
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