Activist group protests to get all charges against mentally ill attacker of Oakland AAPI leader dropped

Activist group protests to get all charges against mentally ill attacker of Oakland AAPI leader droppedActivist group protests to get all charges against mentally ill attacker of Oakland AAPI leader dropped
Jiselle Lee
November 5, 2021
Carl Chan delivered his victim impact statement at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse while an Oakland activist group protested charges against Chan’s attacker outside the courthouse on Thursday.
Developments in the case: Chan was allegedly attacked by 25-year-old James Lee Ramsey in April.
  • The 62-year-old Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President was hit in the head before falling to the ground and scraping his knee.
  • Ramsey was originally charged with assault and a hate crime in May.
  • At the time, Alameda County Public Defender Brendan Woods and Assistant Public Defender Michael Wilson expressed their belief that their client, Ramsey, was being overcharged. They pointed to an inconsistency in Chan’s claim to back up their claim that the attack was not racially motivated.
  • Chan had originally said that Ramsey had called him a “b*tch,” but did not mention his use of racial slurs, according to The Oaklandside. But after attending a rally, Chan told authorities for the first time that his attacker yelled “F*ck you Chinatown! F*ck you Chinaman!” before striking him on the back of his head.
  • Wilson said it’s “inconceivable how that [Chinaman claim] wouldn’t have been the first thing that he [Chan] comments on under the circumstances.”
  • Several months after the original charges were made, the hate crime charge was dropped.
Anti-police group: On Thursday morning, the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) organized a protest outside the courthouse where Chan was scheduled to deliver a victim impact statement during Ramsey’s hearing.
  • According to their website, the APTP is a “Black-led, multi-racial, intergenerational coalition that seeks to build a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color.”
  • The APTP claims that Ramsey could have potentially knocked Chan over by accident and that all charges against him should be dropped.
  • Ramsey has a long documented history of mental issues from an early age. According to Oakland Police Department records, investigators were told by Ramsey that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and had been off of his medication for a month.
  • A 2015 letter to the court written by a clinical social worker said that Ramsey had a “history of head trauma that was untreated” and “community based trauma, trauma while incarcerated,” reported The Oaklandside.
  • Ramsey has no record of being involved in any hate incidents. He had reportedly stated that he did not target Chan because he was Asian. He also reportedly wished to apologize to Chan.
  • “OPD is using this assault as justification to get more money from the City, and Carl Chan, in his role as Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President, is pushing for more policing,” the organization wrote in an Instagram post. “The Anti Police-Terror Project condemns Anti-Asian hate and stands in solidarity with Asian people and oppressed people everywhere. However, in this case, we see a man with disabilities in need of intensive care, not someone committing a hate crime.”
Featured Image via NBC Bay Area
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