A Korean-American man, only identified by his initial A, is still fuming at what he endured on Feb. 15 in Los Angeles Koreatown. As he was returning to work after a quick coffee break with his boss at a convenience store on Third and Kingsley, a police officer suddenly put him under gunpoint and ordered him to lay on his stomach. Soon after, there were four to five officers surrounding Lee with a gun.
“They did not explain why [they were arresting me] even though my boss kept asking them,” A posted on his social media account. “One officer forced me to come out of my car. He made me kneel and immediately handcuffed me. When I asked what was going on, he just pointed his gun towards me and treated me like a criminal.”
The LAPD later explained that arresting A was an error as the officers confused him with a criminal they were trying to track.
“I clearly told the officer that I did nothing wrong and that he’s making a mistake,” A said. “He didn’t answer me at all. I’m still shocked that I was treated like a criminal in broad daylight for more than 20 minutes in middle of the street.”
Lawyers in the Korean community admit that several Korean-Americans have experienced what had occurred to A.
Another man in Koreatown recently had his home raided by the police. It was later revealed that the officers have confused him with one of his neighbors. That was after he was shoved against the wall while handcuffed. Even though he pleaded guilty, it took quite a bit of time for the officers to set him free again.
“It’s a violation of human rights and an unlawful behavior for any police officer to arrest or put someone at gunpoint for no reason,” said Koreatown lawyer Kevin Jang. “Such an incident could even warrant a lawsuit. There would have to be a witness for the lawsuit to be filed, though.”
Meanwhile, the LAPD explained that the police officers have the right to stop any car on the street and question suspects who may “seem suspicious.”
“It’s better to follow the instructions of the police officers,” an LAPD PR department representative said. “If and when the situation becomes incomprehensible, the person should aggressively complain to a highly ranked officer or to a supervisor.”