The Virginia community where a 60-year-old Chinese grandfather was shot and killed by a security guard has terminated its contract with the security company who employed him, reports NBC News.
The River Walk Community Association ‘s decision to end its contract this Tuesday with Citywide Protection Services in Chesapeake, Virginia, came to light just around the time as the funeral arrangements for Jiansheng Chen , to be held in Chinatown of Manhattan in March, were being finalized. Billy Rudolph, a River Walk Community Association spokesman, has confirmed the news of this contract termination.
The contract had been suspended while authorities were investigating, according to Rudolph. “Shortly after the arrest was made, the [homeowners’ association] was able to get together and formally cancel it,” he said.
Last week, authorities charged Johnathan Cromwell with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of murder in the death of Chen, reports 13News Now. Chen family attorney Greg Sandler said Chen went to the River Walk clubhouse parking lot on Jan. 26 to play Pokemon Go; police stated that a disagreement took place between Cromwell and Chen before Cromwell shot the unarmed Chen five times.
Last week when Cromwell was charged, Citywide Protection Services had claimed that their employee acted in self-defense, with the company’s representative attorney Andrew Sacks stating, “The Company continues to stand by its view, based on its investigation, that their employee’s actions were lawful and in self-defense.” Cromwell has been in custody since his arraignment last week.
“I think it’s an obvious step on their part to distance themselves as quickly as possible, and to take their association as far away as possible from the security company,” said James Broccoletti, an attorney representing the Chen family, speaking on the community association’s decision to terminate the contract.
Harry Zhang, president of the Eastern Virginia chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, told NBC News that a bond hearing originally scheduled for Thursday was postponed until Monday so that a Chinese-language interpreter could be present for the court hearing.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Citywide Protection Services is denying claims by the River Walk Community Association that the contract specifically called for unarmed security.
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