San Francisco, CA – A Vietnamese-American elder is suing San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin for lessening the multiple felony charges pending against two suspects who violently attacked him down to a single count of misdemeanor assault.
The civil rights lawsuit, which was filed by attorneys from the Alliance of Asian American Justice (AAAJ), is groundbreaking, KNTV reported.
“We believe we are the first legal team to file a lawsuit against a prosecutor’s office,” AAAJ Attorney Quyen Ta said.
The plaintiff, 69-year-old Anh Le, is not asking the court to award him any money, KNTV reported.
Le has simply asked the court to make Boudin do his job and to hold him accountable for failing to comply with Marsy’s Law, which is intended to give victims a voice regarding their attackers’ release, according to the news outlet.
Le was viciously beaten in front of a grocery market in Chinatown in a racially-motivated attack in November of 2019.
“I was suddenly and violently attacked by the adult male and his adolescent son brutally attacked me with a long baseball bat,” the victim said.
The suspects were initially charged with multiple felonies, including terrorist attacks and elder abuse, KNTV reported.
But over the course of the following months, Boudin’s office pleaded those charges down to a single count of misdemeanor assault – all without Le’s knowledge.
“Because of the way my case has been handled by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, justice has not been served,” Le declared during a press conference on Jan. 25.
“The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office allowed the adult male attacker to plead to a misdemeanor with one-year probation, restitution to the victim and a criminal protective order,” he said, according to the New York Post. “They did this without consulting me, without any input from me at all, and in violation of my rights as a victim.”
Le told reporters he was “cast aside, ignored and re-victimized by the institutions” that were supposed to protect him, according to KPIX.
Boudin’s office released a statement touting the district attorney as “a steadfast advocate” of Asian American victims and community members, KNTV reported.
“We are committed to listening to community leaders, and experts to better understand how to best serve our elderly victims,” Boudin said.
His office called Le’s federal lawsuit “blatantly political and inaccurate,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said his department cannot focus on what becomes of cases once investigations are completed and passed on to the district attorney’s office, KNTV reported.
“All I can speak to is what we do,” Chief Scott told the news outlet. “I want to keep this department focused on our job.”
According to recently-released statistics complied by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), hate crimes against Asians skyrocketed by 567 percent between 2020 and 2021, KPIX reported.