HomeAsian AmericansPasadena Sends Formal Apology for Letter to "Chinks"

Pasadena Sends Formal Apology for Letter to “Chinks”

Pasadena Parking ticketThe city of Pasadena says it is sending a “formal apology” to an Asian American  it addressed in a letter as Chinks a year ago. The letter comes after AsAmNews brought the matter to the city’s attention late last week.

Pasadena resident Sean Ching unsuccessfully challenged a parking ticket he received. It was in a letter denying his appeal in which he was addressed as Chinks instead of Ching. He says city officials appeared indifferent to his concerns and their verbal apolgies insincere.

A supervisor offered to send him an apology letter last winter, but a year later, that letter has still not been received.

The city says that letter is now in the mail.

The formal letter dated January 5, 2015 and made available to AsAmNews is from Director of Transportation Frederick Dock.    City Manager Michael J. Beck is cced.

In the letter,  Dock maintained the error was unintentional and offered his “sincerest apologies.” The full text of the letter is below.

“Dear Mr Ching,
“On November 27, 2013 you submitted an initial review contesting a citation you received on November 26, 2013.  A mistake was made by City staff when entering your personal information into our parking management system. Staff was unable to clearly read your handwriting and mistakenly wrote a ks instead of a g,  changing your name from Ching to Chinks, and this name was used for subsequent correspondence.
“At this time I would like to offer a formal apology for our mistake. It was never our intention to disparage you or cause you any harm or distress. On behalf of the Parking Division staff and myself, please accept my sincerest apologies for this unfortunate incident.|”

AsAmNews forwarded a copy of the letter to Ching who should receive it formally in the mail in the next day or two.

“Like I said, having to demand an apology and having it outright refused reinforces the insincerity,” said Ching.

“I would not have gotten any response without your help. Again, thank you.”


Letter from City of Pasadena Addressed to “Chinks”


  1. RE: Pasadena sends formal apology for letter to “chinks.” : resolved: all correspondence regarding this incident be forwarded to the dept of transportation for Pasadena, attn: Frederick Dick and cc’d City Manager Michael J. F*ck.

  2. RE: Pasadena sends formal apology for letter to “chinks”: since when is the non-apology apology considered good enough? if Asians are high achievers, then you should demand more in these blatant cases of racism.

  3. RE: Pasadena sends formal apology for letter to “chinks”: Staff person who entered the info probably doesn’t have a GED…


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