Li lives with glaucoma and his vision is significantly impaired in one eye.
His supporters say he was walking in Flushing when he accidentally tripped over a dog’s leash. A young man walking the dog became angry and refused to accept Li’s apology. Li says the man beat him, forcing him to the ground on his knees and into a fence.
Li says a young woman with the man then bit one of his hands. Li shoved the woman away who now says Li struck her in the face. Li says the woman began to kick him in the head and body.
Li was ordered arrested despite injuries to his eyes, face, shoulder, leg, and hand. He does not speak English, but police refused to provide an interpreter. Li called his white brother-in-law who is bilingual in Chinese & English, but says police refused to allow the brother-in-law to tell Li’s side of the story.
Li attempted three times to file a cross complaint, but was not allowed to until his third attempt and visit back to the precinct.
Supporters are demanding charges be dropped against Li. The groups include OCA-NY Asian Pacific American Advocates, North America Chinese Calligraphy Association, Chinese Mountain Club of New York, New York Chinese Opera Society, Bodhi Foundation, MinKwon Center for Community Action, and Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York.
A petition on change.org now has nearly 2,000 signatures. That’s almost four times the original goal.