It has been one-year since Dr. Yan Li was shot and killed by police who were meant to simply be serving her an eviction notice at her apartment in San Diego. The community it still looking for answers surrounding her death.
The killing took place on March 3 in San Diego’s Little Italy. According to ABC 10, body camera footage shows a deputy arrive at Li’s condominium that day and serve her an eviction notice once he confirmed her identity.
After he handed her the papers, the deputy saw Li was holding a kitchen knife. He began shouting and swearing at her to put her knife down.
“It’s your notice for — put the knife down right now or I’m going to (expletive) shoot … put the knife down!” Deputy Jason Bunch yelled, according to KPBS.
The San Diego Police Department said another tenant claimed that Li had allegedly threatened a maintenance worker earlier that week. The police maintain they had reason to believe she was a threat to public safety.
More officers arrived on the scene and stormed into the apartment. They shot bean bag rounds at Li who struck one officer with her knife. Several officers then opened fire and killed her.
Community members have long questioned why officers appeared to have escalated the situation.
“They said ‘F’ word. ‘F’ shoot you, ‘F’ shoot you. Is it really necessary to use that word when you serve a notice to evict?” Sunny Rickard, an attorney who also serves as president of the Alliance of Chinese Americans San Diego, told ABC 10 back in April 2022.
A year later, Rickard and several others are still looking for more answers. They would like the police to release the full-length bodycamera video.
“There’s more than 40 min, 45 minutes encounter between Dr. Yan Li and the sheriff’s department. But they only released about 10 min of video,” Rickard told ABC 10 last week.
A spokesperson for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office told ABC 10 that the case is still under investigation.
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please fill out this 2-minute survey which we will use to improve our content. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.