Cops Invaded an Innocent Alzheimer’s Patient’s Home, Broke His Neck and Killed Him And Faced No Jail
Issaquah, WA — A Chinese immigrant who moved with his wife in 2010 to seek a better life in the United States had that life ended in 2018 by those sworn to protect and serve. Wangshen Leng, 66, was suffering with Alzheimer’s when police attacked him so violently that they broke his neck and he died. In 2019, his widow, Liping Yang filed a lawsuit against his killers, and in 2022, she is finding out that there will be no justice.
A seven-member federal jury in the U.S. District Court in Seattle unanimously sided with officers Michael Lucht and Kylen Whittom earlier this year.
“The City of Issaquah is pleased the federal jury unanimously found the actions of its police officers were reasonable, necessary and lawful,” the officers’ attorneys, Shannon Ragonesi and Brian Augenthaler of the Seattle firm Keating McCormick Bucklin, reportedly said in a joint statement.
“The facts proved, and the jury found, there was no excessive police force used in this case,” they added. “Mr. Leng’s injury and eventual death would not have happened if he did not have serious, preexisting medical conditions that were completely unknown to the officers at the time the physical force was applied.”
But his death also would not have happened if police wouldn’t have attacked an innocent elderly man.
David Owens, one of Yang’s attorneys, said the verdict was “more than disappointing” and that it was “a heartbreaking reminder that injustice perpetuates injustice.”
“It is a reminder that our court system can, and does, re-traumatize innocent people subject to arbitrary violence by the government,” Owens reportedly wrote in an email. “The verdict is not only wrong, it is trauma that our client and their family did not deserve and did not choose.”
“An innocent man is dead, killed by the police, and left with little recourse,” he added. “This should not be the case. So, while standing up to the court-sanctioned culture of violence at the core of policing is a difficult but not impossible task, the fight continues.”
On August 5, 2018, police officers kicked in the door to Leng’s home following a noise complaint that they claimed was a case of domestic violence. When police entered the home, the officers found him “waving his arms around yelling something.”
Clearly ignorant of Leng’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and entirely in the wrong place at the wrong time, police forcefully grabbed him, threw him down and placed him and handcuffs. During this process, the force used against Leng was so great that it broke his neck.
“The police proceeded to come in, to separate the two, and to force Mr. Leng down onto the couch — pushing on his neck in such a way that it ended up breaking his neck,” said Harry Williams, an attorney for the family, according to KIRO 7.
Both Leng and his wife do not speak English so attempting to explain themselves to the police was futile. Nevertheless, instead of attempting to communicate with the couple, according to the lawsuit, brute force was the tool used by police against the elderly Alzheimer’s patient. The 66-year-old Chinese immigrant was gravely injured inside his own home, for doing nothing other than holding his hands in the air in front of killer cops, according to the suit.
Leng became unresponsive after the arrest and was hospitalized with a broken neck, according to the lawsuit. Sadly, he would never recover from his injuries. Just one month later, after being attacked by police for no reason, he died in the hospital, never regaining consciousness.
“A healthy person, who that morning had walked to the Issaquah Community Center,” Williams said. “And after an interaction with police, someone who was never conscious again and died a month later,” he said.
His wife of 30 years didn’t want to be on camera, but told KIRO7 that they took walks every day, she would cook for him, and they were happy together.
Leng’s neighbor, Jim Lemming told KIRO7 that he was the one who called police. However, he noted that he did not call police to report Leng. Lemming told KIRO7 that they have had trouble with people hanging around the dumpsters at the apartment complex, so when he heard banging, the first thing he did was dial 911.
“When I heard real heavy banging is when I called 911 without knowing what was going on, I figured better safe than sorry,” he said.
Sadly, that 911 call would be a death sentence for Leng.
Lemming told reporters that he had no idea his 911 call is what led to Leng’s death.
“Sad the way ended, everyone has 20/20 hindsight,” Lemming said, seemingly regretting making that call.
According to the lawsuit, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Leng’s death a homicide.
No one was ever held accountable for his death.
Article posted with permission from Matt Agorist