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Family, community leaders call for justice in Yia Xiong's killing

Ramsey County Attorney asks for help from AG Keith Ellison to review Yia Xiong case
Ramsey County Attorney asks for help from AG Keith Ellison to review Yia Xiong case 01:40

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Monday, family and community leaders gathered to call for justice in the killing of Yia Xiong by St. Paul police.

The group addressed recent developments in the case, including the conclusion of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's investigation and the involvement of the Attorney General's office.

"Ever since the BCA, we have been told the same story again and again, and there is no news of any charge against the police that are involved in the case," Snowdon Herr, of the Yia Xiong Justice Coalition, said. "So we are not happy until charges are and prosecuted and filed."

Xiong, 65, was fatally shot by police in February at an apartment complex in St. Paul. Officers were called because residents said Xiong was threatening people at a children's birthday party. Witnesses told WCCO at the time that Xiong had lunged at children in the apartment complex with a two-foot machete. 

RELATED: St. Paul mayor vows transparency after man shot, killed by police

Speakers reminded the public that at the time of his death, Xiong was partially deaf and did not speak English.

"He was a human just like me, just like you," daughter Mai Tong Xiong said. "The police officer took his life (in) a mere second as if his life had no value to begin with."

The spokesperson for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office gave this statement to WCCO Monday:

We are diligently and thoroughly working on this case but cannot provide an expected date when this review will be completed. In general, cases involving the use of deadly force by peace officers often take much longer to review than other cases for a variety of reasons. These include the voluminous size of the investigative files presented to us by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and, where necessary, our need to ask for further investigation and to retain expert opinions to weigh in on certain issues presented by these cases.

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office earlier asked the Attorney General's Office for assistance in reviewing an investigative file from the Minnesota BCA about the shooting death of Yia Xiong earlier this year.

In asking Attorney General Keith Ellison to help review the case, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said the AG "adds a layer of trust and confidence to our process."

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