Stopping Police Brutality: LA CAN Joins Rally & Vigil for Usman Chaudry

On March 25, 2008 Usman Chaudry was killed by the Los Angeles Police Department. Usman was a highly functional 21 year-old autistic youth–he was also homeless at the time of his death. It took the LAPD21 days to contact the Chaudry family even though Usman had ID in his possession.


The LAPD has stopped all communication with family and are unwilling to provide any details regarding the events that transpired on that fateful night.


The lack of communication and accountability by the LAPD served as the impetus to rally those interested in justice. So on June 21, 2008 friends, family members and multiple organizations converged on Sunset & Curson in Hollywood, California–the exact location of the shooting.


The event, organized by the South Asian Network, was supported by a wide range of organizations; LA Community Action Network, The Family & Friends of Michael Cho, National Alliance on Mental Illness, ACLU of Southern California, October 22ND Coalition, Homies Unidos, and Youth Justice Coalition.


The following passage is an excerpt delivered by LA CAN, one of the events keynote speakers, to bring home the need to act decisively, immediately.



Speak Up, Speak Out, Speak Now!


Speak Up, Speak Out, Speak Now!


Speak Up, Speak Out, Speak Now!


Speak Up, Speak Out, Speak Now!



We have returned to the scene of the crime.


A crime that has become all too common;


A crime that continues to repeat itself in a most serial manner;


A crime against humanity because the perpetrators of such crimes are enlisted by us;

Entrusted by us! Paid by us, to protect and serve us, not, murder us!


We are not here today simply because Usman was a highly functional autistic individual;


We are not here today to embrace the individual memories that we might have of Brother Usman; Those things are sacred and should line the fibers of our existence—they should help us build character & courage.


Instead, we have been brought here by Usman—He has brought us here to shake us out of our paralysis;


To force us to realize that there is more at stake than our prejudices; than our misguided placement of silos that permanently immobilize us; forcing us to come out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of liberty.


Usman has brought us to the beginning, middle, or God forbid the END.


He has brought us together to hold those responsible for all who have been killed at the hands of rouge institutions. And, all who will be killed if WE refuse to act in unity.


WE want so badly to believe that we are dealing with just one bad apple; however, the paint has dried; the writing has been on the wall ten times over; our city has burned twice because we are not dealing with rotten apples we are dealing with rotten orchards.


I don’t know about you but I don’t want my city to burn again—because when that happens we all lose;


Instead, I want us to fulfill our purpose, NO—OUR DUTY, to hold this city accountable—TO HOLD OURSELVES ACCOUNTABLE! To immediately act in concert to bring an end to state sanctioned violence.



Stay tuned for updates as this campaign develops.




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