LOS ANGELES July 26, 2021 — Asian Americans Advancing Justice – CA, which is a partnership between Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, stands in solidarity with the Hmong community in Siskiyou County as they ask the Board of Supervisors to rescind their discriminatory ordinance targeting the Hmong community and seek justice for farmer Soobleej Kaub Hawj who was killed by police on June 28th, his loved ones, and his community. This weekend, activist Zurg Xiong ended a 19-day hunger strike which he initiated to obtain an independent investigation into the local police and call attention to the systemic racism and discrimination the Hmong community continues to face from local officials and law enforcement. Zurg Xiong ended his hunger strike after the office of California Attorney General Rob Bonta agreed to look into the discrimination against Asian Americans in the county and the death of Soobleej Kaub Hawj.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles released the following statement:
“We are horrified that police killed Soobleej Kaub Hawj while he and his family were evacuating from the Lava Fire. Our hearts break for his family and loved ones and for the tight-knit Hmong community in Siskiyou County. The Hmong community in Siskiyou is enduring racism, xenophobia, and state violence at the hands of local officials and law enforcement, as a result of the discriminatory ordinance passed in May 2021. Community members are courageously speaking out for justice, even as local officials deny responsibility for their actions and evade meaningful community outreach and dialogue. We join the calls by local community activists, Sacramento City Councilmember Mai Vang, Assemblymember David Chiu, and many others in California and across the country for an end to the discriminatory ordinance and an external investigation into the Board of Supervisors and the County Sherif Jeremiah LaRue for corruption, racist ordinances, and racial profiling. We are encouraged by Attorney General Bonta’s actions. We call on the Siskiyou County police to immediately release video evidence from body and vehicle cameras of the killing of Soobleej Kaub Hawj. Full transparency and justice cannot wait another day.”
Local community members have organized a petition to support Soobleej Kaub Hawj’s family who lost their husband and father. On Friday, community members held a press conference to share updates from Zurg Xiong’s hunger strike, discuss the systemic discrimination endured by Hmong community members, and elevate the growing calls for justice.