An Asian American advocacy group announced Tuesday that Anh Lê, a Vietnamese American man who was assaulted with a bat in Chinatown two years ago, is suing the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, NBC Bay Area reports.
Lê made the announcement at a press conference in San Francisco’s Chinatown alongside his legal team King & Spalding LLP and a representative from Alliance for Asian American Justice.
Two years ago,Lê was attacked by a man and his son. The pair struckLê with a glass bottle, beat him with a baseball bat and threatened to kill him. His legal team says the pair attacked two other Asian Americans that day.
Lê claims that the prosecutors involved in the case failed to notify him of plea bargaining discussions they were having with his alleged assailant, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was not allowed to make a victim impact statement.
Ultimately,Lê feels the process resulted in a slap on the wrist for the suspect.
Lê’s attorneys believe the District Attorney’s office violated the California Victims’ Bill of Rights Act, which, among other things, requires that victims of crimes be kept informed of court proceedings.
Lê’s case is being handled by pro-bono attorneys at King & Spalding. The firm has handled a number of high-profile cases, including representing former President Trump in a lawsuit involving mail-in ballot procedures in North Carolina.
A representative for District Attorney Chesa Boudin, in a statement to The San Francisco Chronicle, reiterated his commitment to providing the AAPI community with support.
“DA Boudin has consistently sought additional funding to support victims,” Rachel Marshall, a spokesperson for the DA’s office, said. “We will not stop fighting to ensure that every victim’s needs are met.”
The Alliance for Asian American Justice views the case as a way to take a stand against the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
“Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, hate crimes against Asian-Americans have soared, and our nation’s criminal justice system has often failed to treat victims with the dignity, respect, and equal treatment, that they deserve,” the group said in a statement.
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