HomeChinese AmericanFamily Seeks Answers in Death of Sex Worker in New York

Family Seeks Answers in Death of Sex Worker in New York

Yang Song
From In Justice Today

A rally will be held today in front of the 109th Precinct in Flushing in support of Yang Song, a sex worker who died when she fell several stories onto a sidewalk in Queens.

The event is being held in conjunction with the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers.

According to the criminal justice news outlet In Justice Today, Song, 38, fell while police were attempting to arrest her on sex work charges on November 30. In Justice Today is a publication of the Fair Justice Project and is a joint initiative of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice and its Criminal Justice Institute, The Accountable Justice Collaborative (at The Advocacy Fund), and The Bronx Defenders.

Events that lead to Song’s death has her family very suspicious about what happened and they are seeking answers.

The NYPD said an undercover officer attempted to solicit a sex act to catch Song in a sting , but that Song pushed him out of the apartment. The officer called for back up and said he was not in the apartment when Song jumped from the third floor window.

Song’s younger brother, Hai Song, and her mother, Yumei Shi, flew in from China after hearing about her death.

“Many things are unclear,” Hai said. “The police haven’t provided us a fair explanation.”

The family says Song would not have killed herself. Here’s what Hai said his sister told him in the weeks leading up to her death.

According to Hai, his sister told him she was sexually assaulted by a man flashing a badge who held her at gunpoint and claimed to be an undercover cop. The family was also told the police were trying to recruit Song to be an informant.

“I hope to know the truth,” Shi said through a translator. “We want to know whether this was a retaliation from the police and they forced her to die.”

Voice of NY reports the family was told by Song she was being harassed by a police officer for several months. The mother said her daughter accused a police officer of taking money and her cell phone away from her and also demanded sex.

“I asked her whether she satisfied him, and she cried and told me she didn’t dare to decline,” Shi said.

It’s unclear whether the police officer mentioned in the Voice of NY story is the same undercover officer mentioned by In Justice Today.
Song was married to Zhang Zhou, someone 40 years her senior.

He told Voice of NY that he did not approve of his wife’s work. The 74-year-old said he was no longer able to work and lived off $1000 in welfare benefits, but still struggled to make ends meet. His wife began working in a massage parlor in an effort to make more money.

“I tried to persuade her to quit. But she always said ‘my husband doesn’t have money’,” Zhou said.

An autopsy report on Song’s death is expected to be released in three to five months.
ht/Karlin Chan
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