Justice for Chieu Di Thi Vo (continued)

On May 11th after public pressure from the family, SEAC, and community activists -- the Greensboro city council voted to release the body camera footage of Chieu Di Thi Vo's fatal shooting. However, they decided to release it at a press event, with Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott preemptively explaining each portion of the video and 911 calls. This is NOT transparency. This does not allow the public to pass their own judgement on the footage, and still gives the power to the police and media to spin the story as they wish. The footage of the press release was later released online, and you can view it here. You can also view the body camera footage here, without the police chief's presentation.

Upon viewing the body camera footage, more questions have been raised than have been answered. Are Greensboro police officers sufficiently trained to handle those who are neurodivergent (mentally ill), and/or those who have low English proficiency? Are they sufficiently trained to de-escalate all situations? We also know that this is not an isolated incident. We have seen and continue to see police brutality against brothers and sisters of color. This extensive list includes #EricGarner, #SandraBland, #TrayvonMartin, #MikeBrown, #JonathanFerrell, #ChieuDiThiVo, and #BongAckhavong (#SayTheirNames). What is done in police departments to prevent violence and discrimination against people of color? Questions as to how the Greensboro City Council has treated the situation have also been raised. We still wonder, why it took two years for the city to allow the Vo family to view the footage? The Vo family also wonders why there are discrepancies between what the police have been conveying to the public and to the family? 

At the May 3rd city council meeting, the same day that the Vo family watched the body camera footage of their loved one, the Vo family entered the meeting chamber, only to be completely unacknowledged by the council. The city blames the Vo family for allowing the case to go "dormant" for two years, and suggests that they were not interested in knowing how Chieu Di died. This is not true, and Chieu Di's death has never been has never been dormant in the hearts and minds of the Vo family and the community standing behind them.
In seeking answers for these questions, we ask for:

1. A review of the Greensboro Police Department's policies and training, regarding discrimination against people of color, neurodivergent, and limited English proficient individuals.

2. All Greensboro police officers should be comprehensively trained in de-escalation tactics, to avoid cases such as Chieu Di's where officers "shoot first, ask later". 

3. Greensboro city government act with the humanity of those impacted by such tragedies in mind.​ No family should ever have to wait this long for closure, and should be treated with respect and empathy by the government officials.

Recent Updates

May 13, 2016: "While the shooting happened two years ago, the video was concealed that entire time. Not only did Thi Vo hardly speak or understand English, she was known as an incredibly sweet, gentle woman who lived her entire life struggling with a severe mental illness. While she was indeed walking with a kitchen knife, the officer claimed she was screaming uncontrollably and lunged at him. He said he had no choice but to shoot her. The video strongly suggests otherwise. The final shot, if you watch it carefully, is unforgivable. All of it was avoidable."

-Shaun King, Senior Justice Writer at the NY Daily, releases a powerful article proposing changes to how police deal with the mentally ill. He cites Chieu Di among other fatal police shootings.  Read More 

May 12, 2016: SEAC Community Statement, "Watching the Vo video makes it clear the police have a permit to kill people who are neurodivergent (mentally ill) under the guise of their training. We find this unacceptable. Our officers should be adequately trained to effectively and properly interact with ALL of our community; they are tasked with protecting and serving everyone, not just the individuals they can more readily understand and relate to." ..see more

May 11, 2016: The video and audio recording were finally released to the public today. After watching the video footage of the former officer T.J. Bloch's shooting of Chieu Di Thi Vo, the community stands by the family -- Chieu Di's death was avoidable. She did not have to die. 

As the city of Greensboro continues to repeat that the former officer Bloch followed correct police protocol, we as a community, must call into question precisely those procedures that give police a license to kill, particularly neurodivergent/developmentally disabled people. A full community statement will be released shortly.  

May 11, 2016 1:30pm: SEAC statement on press event. Read More

Excerpt from the Vo Family Letter

May 8, 2016: To the General Public:
"We first thank everyone who came to the Beloved Community Center last Tuesday to march with our family to the Melvin Municipal Building in Greensboro. Your presence at the march and at the Greensboro City Council meeting demonstrated tremendous solidarity with and support for our family. We certainly needed it before we watched—for the very first time—the body worn camera footage from the day our beloved Chieu Di was slain by former Greensboro Police Department (GPD) officer T.J. Bloch. We are very grateful and humbled by all of the organizing efforts of the community leaders and members in Greensboro and the surrounding areas, who have not allowed Chieu Di’s name to fade away from our collective memory." ...see more

More Resources

The Charlotte Observer: 3 of 4 fatal CMPD shootings weren't recorded by body cameras (May 28, 2016)  Read More 

The Charlotte Observer: Greensboro Body Cam Footage Shows Officer Killing Woman (May 28, 2016)  Read More 

NY Daily News: KING: Two changes in how we treat the mentally ill could cut fatalities caused by
cops in half 
(May 13, 2016) 
 Read More 

Daily Mail: Bodycam footage shows the moment a North Carolina cop fatally shoots a woman as she comes at him with a meat cleaver (May 13, 2016)  Read More 

VNExpress: Cảnh sát Mỹ bắn chết phụ nữ gốc Việt, gây tranh cãi (May 13, 2016) Read More

NY Daily News: NC woman holding knife shot by police officer (May 12, 2016)  Read More 

Greensboro N & R: Our Opinion: The Vo police footage (May 12, 2016)  Read More 

COLORLINES: Greensboro Police Release Graphic Video of Officer Killing Vietnamese Woman (May 12, 2016)  Read More 

Press release from Greensboro Community (May , 2016)  Read More 

Letter from the Vo Family (May 8, 2016)  Read the Letter 

Attorney: Chieu Di Thi Vo no threat to officer who shot her (May 8, 2016)  Read More 

Mayor and Council Members, Do Your Duty (May 8, 2016)  Read More 

Vo family: Footage doesn't match police department's version of killing (May 3, 2016)  Read More 

Vo family call on city council to show them police footage (April 28, 2016)  Read More 

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