Community Vigil and Rally for Mohammad Usman Chaudhry
Glimpses of the vigil. At left is the family of the deceased Mohammad Usman Chaudhry
Hollywood, CA: A vigil/rally was held for Mohammad Usman Chaudhry on Saturday, June 21. Usman was a 21-year-old Pakistani “who was shot multiple times and killed by the Los Angeles Police Department - Hollywood Division,” according to SAN. He was still in handcuffs when examined by the coroner. Family members of Usman were not told about his death until 21 days after the killing.
The vigil/rally was attend by over 300 people from various communities, including friends/family of Usman, numerous civil rights and community based organizations and groups, and South Asian community members.
The family of Michael Cho, killed by police in La Habra, and Deandre Brunston, killed by police in Compton, also spoke out at the vigil.
A press release issued by the South Asian Network (SAN) states:
At just less than its halfway point, this year has thus far produced an alarmingly high rate of deaths at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department. According to the LA Daily News … “In the first quarter of the year, police killed 12 suspects – twice the number of suspects killed over the same period last year.”
These deaths have left family members, friends and the community asking why they have happened. Often, no answers are provided. Community groups, including South Asian Network, National Alliance on Mental Illness, ACLU of Southern California, October 22nd Coalition, Los Angeles Community Action Network , Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance and Homies Unidos have come together to speak out and demand justice for numerous victims of police violence, including Mohammad Usman Chaudhry, killed on March 25th 2008 by the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department…
The Chaudhry family is still looking for answers as to what happened that morning. The LAPD has refused to disclose reports and other documentation regarding the incident and will no longer return the Chaudhrys’ telephone calls. According to Olu Orange, attorney for the Chaudhry family, “We will continue to seek cooperation from the LAPD. If our current efforts at reaching out to the LAPD continue to be unproductive, we will focus on expanding our already productive dialogue with concerned members of the community where Usman was killed.”
…The purpose of today’s event is twofold: first, to highlight the injustices committed against Usman and his family and the numerous other families who have lost loved ones and have suffered due to police brutality; and second, to empower all communities to unite, stand together and take action …