Second Justice For Yia Xiong Protest And March

By Snowdon Herr

 

 

 

 

On February 26, 2023, about 350 concerned community members protested and marched along University avenue in the midway area of Saint Paul to demand justice for Yia Xiong (aged 65), a Hmong elderly Secret War veteran with hard of hearing, who was killed by Saint Paul Police officers Abdirahman Dahir and Noushue Cha on Saturday, February 11, 2023. Among the crowd of protesters included elected officials State Senator Foung Hawj, Ramsey County Commissioner Mai Chong Xiong and St. Paul City Council Member Nelsie Yang; all of whom have spoken during the protest in support of the family’s demands for justice. 

Xiong’s older sister, Yang Mee Lee, furiously spoke to the crowd explaining that “The police took my brother’s life and we know he can never come back from the dead, but we can work to make sure that this doesn’t happen anymore.” Lee then ended her speech by specifically speaking to the 2 officers who killed her brother, stating “I am angry at you, and I will remain angry up to the day I see you all in court” (translated from Hmong). Lee was joined in the spotlight with about a dozen other members of their family, including Xiong’s widow, See Xiong. 

The march was seen being led by Hmong elders and guarded by local black led and immigrant led organizations and organizers (Communities United Against Police Brutality, Families Supporting Families Against Police Brutality, Black Lives Matter – Twin Cities, Immigrant Rights Action Committee, and more). For about 30 minutes, the chants “No English, Don’t Shoot” and “I Am Deaf, Don’t Shoot” echoed in the midway neighborhood. 

For justice to be served, the immediate family of Yia Xiong are demanding that: 

  1. Saint Paul Police Officers Abdirahman Dahir and Noushue Cha to be fired, arrested and prosecuted immediately. 
  2. All the other Saint Paul Police Officers on the scene are held accountable for not intervening.
  3. An independent investigation of Yia Xiong’s killing be conducted. 
  4. State Attorney General Keith Ellison be lead prosecutor for officers Dahir and Cha; and for all Saint Paul Police Officer’s body camera footage, transcripts of dispatch, and names of all officers on the scene be released to the public.