This story is all over the news, as it should be, however I can’t stress enough that this is sadly not the first 84-year-old man to be beaten by the police over nothing. However, I’ll keep this post focused, for once.
On the Upper East Side in NYC Kang Wong, 84, jaywalked across an intersection. Who does he think he is!? (Sarcasm.) According to witness reports, the man apparently struggled to understand -or perhaps didn’t understand at all- the cops demands to stop. I’d like to take this opportunity to say, Mr. Wong apparently does not speak English. Which is all well and good but not when the cops are involved; they don’t care if you are mentally ill, mentally disabled, blind, deaf (scroll through my posts)… to them, you are fair game.
NYC is my home, I’ve jaywalked, who hasn’t? We live in a fast paced world full of other busy people in their busy worlds. We somehow are all together yet have the ability to remain in our own world. Cops are not an infrequency in NYC for those who haven’t been. Usually when I hear a cop screaming I don’t stop and say, “Oh, you mean me?” It is also plausible to think the poor man thought something like, ‘Here we go again- the cops chasing someone down for yet another mugging.’ With that, he probably went back to his world, just as I would have.
But no. They were after him. He had jaywalked, after all. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are reasons jaywalking is illegal; that’s to protect pedestrians. But that isn’t what happened here. There was no reason for this excessive, brutal force. Imagine if a super hero beat up the person(s) he had been sent to save. Wouldn’t be very trust worthy, would he?
That’s how I view most cops. And not out of blind anger, but out of anger from far, far too many cases like this…both those that make the media, and those that do not.
It isn’t even as if they ran to Mr. Wong and simply arrested him for this “horrible crime”- oh no, he was beaten bloody and so badly he was taken to a hospital shortly after the jaywalking “crime” on Sunday. Local government want to enact something called “Vision Zero” – something, and I quote,
Phil Walzak, the Mayor’s spokesman stated Sunday:
“We won’t sit by while lives are lost and families are torn apart. These latest crashes underscore the urgent need to make our streets safer, which is why we are moving decisively to enact ‘Vision Zero’.”
Umm, but they will “sit by” and let innocent people, young and old, be beaten for crossing a street illegally? As if the do not do the exact same thing daily! This was also noted by outraged witnesses. But believe it or not it does get more tragic; Mr. Wong is being held in the hospital as a prisoner, not a patient, and his son whom is a lawyer is being refused to see him. They also refuse to tell him what his 84 year old father is being charged with.
So, let’s see, what did the New York Post have to say about this? Let’s take a look:
“Kang Wong was strolling north on Broadway and crossing 96th Street at around 5 p.m., when an officer told him to halt because he had walked against the light.
Police were targeting jaywalkers in the area following the third pedestrian fatality this month around West 96th Street.
Wong, who lives a block away, appeared to not understand the cop, the witnesses said.
“The guy didn’t seem to speak English. The cop walked him over to the Citibank” near the northeast corner of 96th and Broadway, said one witness, Ian King, a Fordham University law student.
“[The officer] stood him up against the wall and was trying to write him a ticket. The man didn’t seem to understand, and he started walking away.
“The cop tried to pull him back, and that’s when he began to struggle with the cop,” said King, 24. “As soon as he pushed the cop, it was like cops started running in from everywhere.”
Wong was left bleeding and dazed with cuts to his face.
Seems to me we need better police. Much better police.
He was cuffed and and taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. After several hours, he was hauled off to the 24th Precinct station house.
His 41-year-old son, a lawyer who would not give his name, first said at the station house Sunday night that did not wish to discuss his feelings about the incident.
“I don’t want to talk about anything like that in front of all these cops,’’ he told the Post
But walking farther down the street, he said,
“The cops are playing games. They won’t tell me what he’s being charged with.”
He first heard his dad had been busted in a 6 p.m. phone call from cops, who asked if the elderly man needed medication but would not say which hospital he’d been taken to. So the son went to the station house, where he said he got a similar run-around.
Finally, he found out on his own that his dad was at St. Luke’s and had been arrested for jaywalking.
“Oh, great! Beating up on an 84-year-old man for jaywalking,’’ he said.
Neither the hospital nor the cops would allow him to see his dad until after 10 p.m., explaining that since he’d not been admitted, he was not a patient, but a “prisoner.’’
Early Monday, cops fingerprinted Wong and charged him with jaywalking, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. He went home, accompanied by several family members, with a desk-appearance ticket.
Another of Wong’s sons, who also would not give his name, said the family “will probably press charges’’ against the cops, adding:
“He was just walking across the street with other people, and they picked him out. How could they do that to an 84-year-old man.’’
NYPD officials said “the incident is under internal review.”
“Everyone does it. Heck, the cops do it,” said Emily Skeggs, 23, who was ticketed for illegally crossing the street.