Moral Low Ground


84-Year-Old Kang Wong Beaten Bloody by NYPD Cops During Jaywalking Stop

An elderly New York City man was beaten bloody and hospitalized after he was stopped by NYPD officers for allegedly jaywalking in Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Sunday afternoon.

The New York Daily News reports 84-year-old Kang Chun Wong was hospitalized for a head wound after he was knocked to the ground by NYPD officers trying to ticket him for allegedly jaywalking at around 5pm at the intersection of 96th Street and Broadway. There have been three pedestrian fatalities this month around West 96th Street and NYPD officers have ramped up jaywalking enforcement in the area in an attempt to protect residents.

But it was Wong who needed protection from the police when he apparently did not understand what they were saying to him, according to those who witnessed the incident on Sunday.

“The guy didn’t seem to speak English,” Fordham University student Ian King told the New York Post. “[The officer] stood him up against the wall and was trying to write him a ticket. The man didn’t seem to understand, and he started walking away.”

“The cop tried to pull him back, and that’s when he began to struggle with the cop,” King continued. “As soon as he pushed the cop, it was like cops started running in from everywhere.”

Officers attacked Wong, who was left dazed with a bloody face. He was handcuffed and transported to St. Luke’s Hospital. Hours later, he was taken to the 24th Precinct station house.

Wong’s 41-year-old son, an attorney who did not wish to give his name, told the Post at the police station that he did not want to discuss the incident “in front of all these cops.” But later he told the paper that officers were “playing games.”

“They won’t tell me what he’s being charged with,” the son claimed.

On Monday, Wong was charged with jaywalking, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. He was released into the custody of family members and returned home.

Another of Wong’s sons, who also did not wish to be named, told the Post that the family would likely press charges against the NYPD.

“He was just walking across the street with other people, and they picked him out,” the son said. “How could they do that to an 84-year-old man?”

The New York Daily News reported Sunday that 26-year-old Samantha Lee was the third pedestrian struck and killed within a two-block radius in the past nine days. The young doctor was hit by a St. Luke’s ambulance at around 4:45am while crossing W. 96th Street.

Responding to widespread criticism about the heavy-handed treatment of Wong and the jaywalking crackdown in general, Phil Walzak, spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, told reporters that the administration “won’t sit by while lives are lost and families are torn apart.”

Walzak added: “These latest crashes underscore the urgent need to make our streets safer, which is why we are moving decisively to enact ‘Vision Zero,’” described as “a set of comprehensive policies developed in Sweden and aimed at a future in which no one is killed or seriously injured by traffic.”

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