An elderly man was left bloody and bruised after a confrontation with New York City police for jaywalking, but now he’s striking back with a $5 million lawsuit.
Kang Chun Wong, 84, who owned and operated La Nueva Victoria, a successful Chinese Restaurant on Broadway, has lived on the Upper West Side for the last 50 years. During a police targeting blitz aimed at jaywalking offenders at the direction of NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Wong was approached by a police officer after reaching the other side of a cross walk on the corner of 96th St. and Broadway. Wong claims the traffic signal was green when he entered the crosswalk but that it may have turned red by the time he finished crossing.
At that point, the police officer stopped him and demanded to see his identification, which Wong then provided. Inexplicably, the cop took Wong’s license and walked away, whereby the octogenarian followed him. “I was very puzzled and I was very scared,” he said. “I had no idea why I had been stopped. I used Cantonese and said give me back my ID.”
According to Wong, he continued to plead with the officer to give him his license back, prompting the officer to produce a pair of handcuffs and call for backup. Several officers raced over and seized Wong, throwing him against the wall of a building. Wong said he was knocked to the ground where he hit his head and he blacked out.
His head, arm and ribs still sore from the violent encounter with cops, Wong expressed shock that he was mistreated by a system he believed in and followed his entire life. “I always respected the police,” the long time New Yorker opined. “The officer and detectives from the precinct used to come into my restaurant all the time.” Wong’s son and his attorney are reviewing their legal options.
Bratton has had an affinity for cracking down on low-level offenses. He favored a “broken window philosophy” in his first tour of duty as Police Commissioner for NYC in the 90s in order to crack down on subway fare evasion that was once a common occurrence. He commented in a 1998 television interview, “We use police to control behavior… and by dealing with little things we impact on the big things.”