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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Community to rally demanding justice for Yong Yang’s death on June 2

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Asians, including Korean Americans, are coming together to demand justice for Yong Yang’s death.

This is a community-wide rally to condemn law enforcement brutality and demand improvements in the way mentally ill people are treated by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

The Justice for Yong Yang People’s Committee (JYYPC) is organizing a rally to condemn the LAPD at 2 p.m. on June 2 at a grass field at 3700 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles Koreatown.

Community is gathering to demand justice for Yong Yang’s death. [Image captured from GoFundMe]

JYYPC is a voluntary organization of first and second-generation Korean Americans and Asian American organizations. The rally is open to individuals and organizations.

“Yong Yang’s case highlights the structural failures of the police’s response to mentally ill people,” said attorney Eunghwan Choi from JYYPC. “Yong Yang’s only crime was mental illness, and the system killed him.”

Officials from the Asian Mental Health Project (AMHP), which organized a memorial service for Yang, will also join the rally.

JYYPC has also sent letters of participation to Korean American organizations, including the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles, the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California, the Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, Korean American Family Services, and the Council of Korean Churches in Southern California. Letters were also sent to Korean American student organizations at UCLA, USC, and UC Irvine, inviting them to join the rally.

Additionally, JYYPC has reached out to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) LA chapter to inform them of the purpose of the rally and request their participation. Danny Park, 40, who used to run the People’s Market on Skid Row, will also be joining the rally. “It’s not the first time we’ve seen a police tragedy, and each time the community is filled with grief and anger,” said Park. “The case of Yong Yang is not just an LA issue, it’s an issue that we all need to empathize with and share, and it’s time to raise our voices together for policy change.”

JYYPC is sending letters to local politicians calling for a thorough investigation into the incident and a review of police excessive force policies.

“When I look back at the whole process, they were treating my son as a target in an environment where they could kill him at any time, rather than taking him to the hospital,” said Min Yang, a bereaved family member and the father of Yong Yang. “I’ve lived in the U.S. for 40 years, and my respect for the system in this country has been completely destroyed, and my son’s right to life as a patient has been brutally trampled.”

For more information, contact justiceforyongyang@gmail .com

BY YEOL JANG, HOONSIK WOO [jang.yeol@koreadaily.com]