A protest rally against police brutality in western US city of Long Beach has been waged after parents of a young suspect shot by police were barred from visiting their critically wounded son.
A group of community activists in the California city staged the rally outside St. Mary’s Medical Center on Sunday to protest police brutality by Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) for refusing to allow the parents of the 22-year-old Cambodian suspect, Sokha Hor, to visit their son, who was shot and critically injured by LBPD officers on January 7.
Although the activists declared victory when the police department finally allowed the Cambodian-born parents of the seriously injured man to visit their son, they expressed extreme anger at the brutal manner in which the police denied visitation rights to Hor’s parents for nearly two weeks.
According to Hor’s mother, Yorn Eng, Long Beach police officers gave her contradictory information regarding her son’s condition and one cop told her “We’ll contact you if he dies,” when she demanded to visit her reportedly dying son.
The harsh police response, according to local news reports, prompted groups such as the Long Beach Campaign to Stop Police Violence and anti-war, pro-social justice ANSWER LA to launch an Internet campaign via email and social networking sites as well as the protest rally on Sunday to press police authorities to allow the Cambodian native’s parents to visit him.
The incident represents the latest in a string of cases of excessive force by LBPD officers, who were involved in seven shootings last year, four of which were fatal.