Originally published February 1 2014
NYPD cops beat senior citizen bloody over jaywalking
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) During Rudy Giuliani's tenure as New York City mayor, crime in the Big Apple fell dramatically.
According to Justice Department figures, violent crime fell 56 percent during Giuliani's eight-year tenure, the murder rate fell by two-thirds, robbery went down by 67 percent, and aggravated assault declined by 28 percent.
Giuliani's reorganization of the New York Police Department, along with his dedication to providing the department with needed resources and his change in policing tactics, are among the reasons for the transformation.
Not included in Giuliani's reforms - many of which the city's new socialist mayor, Bill de Blasio, has vowed to undo - were instructions to the NYPD to beat and bloody residents for the heinous "crime" of jaywalking, no matter how bad it has become.
According to one of the city's legacy newspapers, the New York Daily News, Kang Chun Wong, 84, of Manhattan, has filed a $5 million suit against the city and the police department, allegedly over being beaten for crossing a street in the wrong place:
The 84-year-old Manhattan man left bruised, bloodied and humiliated by NYPD cops during a jaywalking ticket blitz plans to hit back with a $5 million lawsuit...
Kang Chun Wong has lived in the same Upper West Side neighborhood for nearly five decades. He owned the popular La Nueva Victoria restaurant on Broadway while raising three sons, and now spends his retirement doting on his grandchildren and socializing with friends at a senior center in Chinatown.
According to the report, suddenly on Jan. 19 while en route to his West 97th Street apartment, "Wong walked right into a nightmarish police operation" that had been concocted by the commander of the local police precinct, "in response to a spate of fatal pedestrian accidents."
When all was said and done, the octogenarian was left bloodied, his head, arm and ribs injured and sore from a violent confrontation with police, he told the newspaper. Wong said he was left in disbelief that after a lifetime of abiding by the law everything could have gone so wrong, being knocked unconscious on the street and handcuffed in a local hospital emergency room, and facing a range of criminal charges.
Not quite what Rudy Giuliani had in mind when he implemented police reforms some 20 years ago (see photos of Wong's injuries here).
In an interview with the Daily News, which was translated by the family lawyer, Hazel Chin, Wong said, "I didn't commit any crime. It was excessive how they (the police) did it to me. If I did something wrong, I could understand, but I didn't."
He added: "They make me feel shame. I was very humiliated."
Three pedestrians had been killed in the vicinity over a nine-day period, but there appears to be no justification - based on reports, anyway - that a beating was in order.
In one of the biggest understatements of the year thus far, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton labeled the incident "unfortunate." But shortly thereafter, the Daily News reported, "the NYPD News' Twitter account quoted Bratton at the CompStat meeting praising the 24th Precinct cops and their commander for 'taking action, addressing jaywalking.'"
Wong's lawyer for the lawsuit, Sanford Rubenstein, said, "We can have police efforts focused on pedestrian safety without violating the civil rights of our citizens."
Unidentified police officers were also named in the suit.
Wong says the traffic signal was green when he stepped away from a curb at the southeast corner of 96th St. and Broadway to cross, though he adds that it may have turned red by the time he reached the other side (he is 84, after all). When he reached the other side, a police officer stopped him and demanded his ID. Though he only speaks Cantonese and Spanish, he says he understood the officer's command to produce "ID."
When the cop began walking away with his card, Wong said he followed. "I was very puzzled and I was very scared," he said. "I had no idea why I had been stopped. I used Cantonese and said give me back my ID."
In response, he says the officer produced handcuffs and began to speak into his radio. "I got more scared," Wong noted.
Within moments, several NYPD officers raced over, grabbed the senior citizen and pushed him up against a wall; he says he was then pushed to the ground, where he lost consciousness. When he awoke, he had blood streaming down his face - and his hands were cuffed behind him.
One picture on the Daily News site shows a dazed Wong cuffed and surrounded by no fewer than five police officers.
As an aside, in 2012 the city of New York planned to spend a record amount - $735 million - on settlements or awards in lawsuits claiming negligence, police abuse and property damage. That is nearly six times what Los Angeles pays per capita.
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