CHESAPEAKE VA Feb 14 2017
More than 5,000 people have signed petitions calling for charges to be filed against a security guard who fatally shot a 60-year-old Chinese man last month in the River Walk neighborhood.
Supporters on Monday delivered a portion of the petitions to Commonwealth’s Attorney Nancy Parr's office, said Harry Zhang, president of the Organization of Chinese Americans, Eastern Virginia chapter. Parr said she has received a flyer, several sheets of paper with signatures and an emailed petition.
“We want to push the case forward,” Zhang said, adding that supporters wanted prosecutors to "hear the voice from the community.”
Two supporters also met with Police Chief Kelvin Wright on Monday, according to Officer Kelly Elliott, police spokeswoman. Wright told them the case remains under investigation and that police and prosecutors will give an update when the investigation is done, she said. They did not discuss specifics of the case, but supporters told the chief they had "serious concerns" and want justice for Jiansheng Chen, Zhang said.
Chen was sitting in his minivan about 11 p.m. Jan. 26 outside the Riverwalk Clubhouse in the 700 block of River Walk Pkwy. when a security guard confronted him, police said. They argued, and the guard fired through various windows of the van, police said.
Chen died at the scene. Greg Sandler, his family’s lawyer, has said he was playing “Pokemon Go” at the time.
Andrew Sacks, an attorney for Chesapeake-based Citywide Protection Services, has said a company guard shot Chen in self-defense.
No charges have been filed and the guard’s name has not been released.
Zhang said several petitions have been circulating, including a local petition and another one on change.org that had over 5,000 signatures as of Monday night. The petitions call for prosecutors to bring charges against the security guard, Zhang said.
He also planned to give Parr a letter signed by him and three others representing a group of local Chinese Americans and community organizations, asking for a town hall meeting.
"We would like to work with the police department on a protocol in dealing with situations where there are language barriers," the letter says.
Zhang also provided The Virginian-Pilot with a different letter signed by 101 organizations — such as the American Chinese Heritage Association and American Chinese Culinary Federation — calling for a "thorough, fair, and transparent investigation." It was addressed to Parr, Wright, Mayor Alan Krasnoff, the attorney general, governor and senators and delegates of the General Assembly.
"Chen's family, their community, and all citizens in the society concerned about the use of deadly forces deserve nothing less than the truth," the letter says.