Tong Sik Chong Case

1996

Tong Sik Chong case: Chong is an 81-year-old Korean immigrant who speaks no English and is hard of hearing. On a walk shortly after his family moves into a new neighborhood, he becomes disoriented and mistakes a neighbor’s home for his own. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) arrests Chong for burglary. Never attempting to communicate with him in Korean, officers detain him until 3 a.m. then release him with no explanation. The next day, he is found on a freeway off-ramp, beaten and robbed, with head injuries. Chong suffers from post-traumatic stress from the incident and dies a few months later.  APALC helps Chong’s family and leads community advocacy efforts that results in the LAPD adopting a language policy in 1999, addressing the needs of non-English speaking residents and mandating officer training on interacting with non-English speakers.

Area of Work: 
Policy and Research