Asian American community members call on Superintendent McCarthy to fire officers involved in Klyzek police brutality incident

September 4, 2015

CONTACT: Brandon Lee
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Asian American community members call on Superintendent McCarthy to fire officers involved in Klyzek police brutality incident

Light punishment devalues Asian Americans, immigrants, women, and people who are undocumented

CHICAGO –Asian American community members gathered on Friday in front of Chicago Police Department Headquarters to call on Superintendent Garry McCarthy to fire police officers involved in the Jessica Klyzek police brutality case in 2013. The Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) has recommended that three officers be suspended.

“We believe that IPRA is not upholding justice, and we are here because the Jessica Klyzek case is another reminder that we need greater accountability,” said Vi Ray-Mazumder of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “Fortunately, IPRA’s recommendations are not the final say in the matter. It is up to Superintendent McCarthy to decide the punishments for the officers, and we call on him to discharge officers DiPasquale and Messina immediately.”

Speakers said that the issue of police brutality speaks to something deeper than just this specific incident, and that physical abuse and xenophobic language are unacceptable for a city striving to be the “most immigrant friendly.”

“No matter what the context, this type of anti-immigrant abuse and physical violence is unacceptable, and should be condemned in a city that that strives to be the most immigrant friendly,” continued Ray-Mazumder.

To increase protections for immigrant communities Advancing Justice | Chicago supports amendments to Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance and the Ordinance that governs IPRA.

“These amendments would prohibit threats of deportation by law enforcement against an individual or their family members,” said Hannah Kim, the Sandra R. Otaka Legal Fellow at Advancing Justice | Chicago. “The amendments would also standardize the definition of this type of police misconduct in both ordinances to help ensure sufficient disciplinary measures are applied, specifically coercion, and would help ensure appropriate discipline is applied in cases such as this.”

Asian Americans stand alongside other communities that experience police brutality. Signs held by attendees said “Asian Americans For Black Lives” and “Black Lives Matter.”


Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Chicago is the leading pan-Asian, multi-issue organization in the Midwest dedicated to empowering the Asian American community through advocacy by utilizing education, research, and coalition-building. Established in 1992, Advancing Justice—Chicago (formerly the Asian American Institute) was founded by a group of visionary Chicago community activists, academicians, and business leaders in response to the growing need to build a pan-Asian policy agenda among Chicago’s diverse Asian American communities. Advancing Justice-Chicago projects a united voice on the most pressing issues of concern to Asian Americans in metropolitan Chicago.

Advancing Justice—Chicago is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is a member of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice national affiliation, with partner affiliates in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta.