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Detroit Killing

May 14, 1987

Ronald Ebens, the Detroit auto worker who brutally beat a Chinese-American man to death with a baseball bat in 1982, was acquitted of civil rights charges because the jury decided that the killing was not racially motivated. Earlier he and his stepson Michael Nitz were only sentenced to three years of probation and fined $3,700 each on manslaughter charges for the murder.

The incident took place in a bar after the killers, both being white, mistook Vincent Chin, the victim, to be Japanese and blamed him for the problems in the U.S. auto industry. When they were stopped by a cop after the act Ebens told an Asian companion of Chin that he was lucky because he could be the next.

If this was not racially motivated I do not know what is. The last words of Chin before his death was: 'It isn't fair!' It is sad that although the acquittal has led to an outrage among the Asian communities, it has stirred not more than a ripple in the mainstream media. It is hard to imagine that the killers could have got away so easily if Chin were black. Where are the liberals?

C.P. LEE

Alhambra

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