The family of Dong-Sik Chong, the 81-year-old Korean immigrant who died four months after a controversial police arrest, sued the city of Los Angeles on Wednesday, alleging that Chong's April 19 death was caused by police misconduct.
In a civil rights complaint filed in U.S. District Court, attorneys for Chong's widow and two daughters accused Los Angeles Police Officers Marco Briones and Teresa Golt of arresting Chong on Dec. 28 without "probable or legal cause," and taking him to an unidentified Police Department substation.
Chong, who did not speak English, had gotten lost Dec. 28 while taking a walk, the complaint said.
It charged that the arrest occurred hours after the family filed a missing person's report. No one told Chong why he was arrested or being detained, the complaint said.
"At no time did the defendants attempt to obtain a Korean language interpreter to interview Mr. Chong, nor did the defendants seek any assistance in communicating to Mr. Chong in a language he could understand," the suit charged.
Three hours later, the complaint said, the man was released "onto the dangerous streets of Los Angeles" where he was "severely beaten and robbed," the suit charged. Chong was hospitalized after the incident, and though he returned home, he never fully recovered, his family said.