Friday, June 23, 2017
From Southeast Asian Resource Action Center:
SEARAC condemns the brutal assault of Anthony Promvongsa, a Lao American man from Worthington, MN, at the hands of area police. The incident occurred almost a year ago on July 28, 2016, but the ACLU of Minnesota only recently received video footage.
The footage shows Agent Joe Joswiak of the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force screaming, kicking, and punching Promvongsa before he had the chance to step out of his car. Sgt. Tim Gaul then appears to deliberately disable the audio recording of the incident. Prior to being pulled over, an off-duty officer had called Agent Joswiak to pursue Promvongsa because he claimed Promvongsa was tailgating him.
To this date, Agent Joswiak has not been held accountable for his treatment of Promvongsa in any way, and Sgt. Tim Gaul has not been investigated for his role in potentially tampering with the evidence. The police have instead charged Promvongsa with multiple felonies.
The incident comes to light shortly after Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, MN, police officer, was acquitted of all charges for shooting Philando Castile seven times and killing him as he reached for his wallet during a traffic stop.
Police violence with impunity against Black people is a cancer on American society with historical roots as old as our country. Promvongsa's beating underscores how important it is for Southeast Asian Americans to stand together with African American communities and all communities of color for stronger oversight, training, and accountability in our law enforcement systems.
We echo the ACLU of Minnesota's call for a complete and immediate investigation of Agent Joswiak and Sgt. Gaul to ensure due process and justice for Anthony Promvongsa, and to set a precedent of accountability for too many other victims of racialized police brutality.
The graphic video can be viewed here.