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Community calls for transparency after police killing of Yia Xiong in Saint Paul

Updated: Mar 4, 2023

Community activists and family members of Yia Xiong showed up at Saint Paul City Hall to protest at Mayor Carter's Office as a follow up on their demands in the police killing of 65-year-old Hmong war veteran. Xiong was shot on February 11 by Saint Paul police after they responded to a call that a resident was threatening others with a knife.

A group called Justice for Yia Xiong Coalition sent a letter to Mayor Melvin Carter and SPPD Chief Axel Henry on Wednesday stating, “Mr. Xiong was extremely loved and cared for by his family. He was a community elder, Secret War Veteran, husband, father, uncle and grandfather. He lived at Winslow Commons, an assisted-living apartment complex for seniors with disabilities, where he was hard of hearing, didn’t speak English and had PTSD from when he was a soldier in the Secret War during the Vietnam War era.”

The family is demanding the public release of all police body camera footage from the incident, police dispatch transcripts, and names of all officers at the scene. Mayor Carter did respond to the group saying in part, "An officer involved fatality is one of the most challenging traumas a city can endure, leaving a permanent devastating impact on the family and friends of deceased, the women and men of o ur Satin Paul Police Department, and our entire community.”

Among the attendees was Ward 6 Council woman Nelsie Yang who has stood in solidarity with the family at other protests as well. Members of the Justice for Yia Xiong Coalition are meeting with Chief Henry and Mayor Carter Tuesday, Mar. 7, at 4 p.m.

The St. Paul Police Department asked the BCA to investigate this incident. According to a press release, once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without recommendation to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for review.

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