A case often cited an example of racial profiling of the Asian American community won’t be recharged, reports Philly.com.
An attorney for Professor Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University in Philadelphia says his client has been informed by federal prosecutors “there will be no new charges and that the government will be returning his seized property.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed his case “without prejudice” in September leaving open the possibility the case could be reopened.
Xi had been charged with transferring sensitive U.S. defense technology to China, but both he and his colleagues contended prosecutors lacked a basic understanding of his research. Prosecutors would later back down when shown their mistakes.
The former chair of Temple’s physic’s department resigned his position after the charge was filed. His attorney described his life as “awful” since the government began his case.
“It’s like getting diagnosed with a terrible illness,” defense lawyer Peter Zeidenberg said.
In September, several Asian American groups sent a letter demanding the Department of Justice open an investigation into racial profiling of Asian Americans.
The National Council of Chinese Americans (NCCA), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), National Asian American Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates all co-signed the letter.
“We write to you today out of a growing concern at the alarming number of criminal prosecutions brought by the Department of Justice against Asian Americans in which government attorneys and investigators have utilized inflammatory rhetoric and made unfounded accusations inconsistent with the Department’s standards and policies. These actions embarrass our government and the Department, undermine the civil liberties and reputation of all Asian Americans, and deprive those individuals of Due Process and Equal Protection as guaranteed them under the Constitution. In addition, it appears that some officials who work on these cases are culturally insensitive, causing them to misinterpret innocent events as meaningful factors in probable cause determinations.”
Then in November, the U.S. Department of Civil Rights joined in requesting an investigation, but to date no such investigation has been conducted.
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