By Shirley N. Lew
AsAmNews New York Correspondent
Over 200 people marched in Flushing, Queens from the Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in memory and support of member and volunteer Chun Man Tse and his family. Tse, also known as Vincent, was killed when authorities say Cleamon Anderson punched him after a fender bender. He died a week later in late July.
Assemblyman Ron Kim lead the demonstration and was joined by Tse’s son and daughter, Steve Tse and Ivy Tse. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Coucilman Peter Koo and other local officials also joined the protest.
Anderson was charged with assault and is currently out on bail. After Tse’s death which was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, the DA has not amended the charges despite mounting frustration from the Tse family and the community. Anderson’s sister, Robin Anderson, an NYPD school crossing guard, who was present when her brother punched Tse, lied to investigators that Tse was hurt from a fall and has been suspended from her job. Surveillance cameras in the area showed Anderson punching Tse and him falling to the ground.
Mrs. Tuong, a senior citizen tells me why she is marching in the rally.
Assemblyman Ron Kim said, “We are here to ask the Queens DA to upgrade the charges from assault to manslaugher or higher, and to hold both individuals accountable for their actions. Over 6,000 signatures was submitted to the DA. We are marching today for justice for Mr. Tse to send a strong message that we stand up for the elderly.”
Hear our interview with Assemblyman Ron Kim.
Tse’s son, Steve spoke about how his father was a “kind, selfless handyman,” and “His death leaves a void in our lives. This void hurts all the way back to his country where his brothers and sisters in China reside.” He also added how difficult it has been seeing his father’s empty chair and bed.
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer said that the community is built by hard working people who want a better life like Tse. He said, “We do have a right to as a community to demand justice, to send a strong message that we are suppose to protect our seniors.”
My interview with Harvey Wolfe, a senior citizen from the rally.
“This extreme act of violence is an act of cowardness,” said Councilman Peter Koo, “He must be punished by the full extent of the law.”
Community Activist, Karlin Chan questions why the investigators are unconvinced even with clear video footage of Anderson, a six foot two, 44 year-old man of 275 pounds, punching a five foot five, 68 year-old 115 pound Tse does not show any intent to do harm.
“There is intent when Anderson chooses to escalate a minor traffic accident instead of exchanging insurance information, he choose to bully the much smaller 115 pound Tse,” Chan said at the rally.
Chan is also challenging the investigators opinion that “it is rare for someone to be punched once, fall on the ground, hit his head and to die from it, but that’s what actually happened. ”
Kim said that he spoke to the DA before the demonstration and that they are open to working with him. He added that if they do not upgrade the charges, a grand jury might make the determination next month.
“We will continue to work with the DA. I had a chance to speak with them directly this morning before the rally.
They are open to working with us, we have a good relationship with the DA and hopefully we can upgrade the charges soon. And if not, they are relying on a grand jury next month to determine whether the charges will be upgraded or not, “ Kim said.
What are your safety concerns as a senior citizen?
Do you believe this was racially motivated?
What should be charges for Anderson’s sister, the NYPD school crossing guard?