Lawsuit Settled in the Case of Michael Cho

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought on by the parents of Michael Cho, a 25-year-old artist who was shot and killed by two police officers on December 31, 2007. The city of La Habra is to pay $250,000 to Honglan and Sungman Cho, who plan to use the money to create a memorial to their fallen son.

Cho’s death sparked outrage in the Korean American community as many believed the officers used excessive force. Ten bullets were found in his body. “The police killed my son like a dog,” Cho’s mother, Honglan, told the La Habra City Council. Friends and supporters launched Justice For Mike Cho and the Stop Police Brutality–Remember Michael Cho Facebook page, along with a petition that called for a thorough federal investigation of the incident.

Witnesses said Cho approached the officers with a tire iron and ignored commands to drop the object. The District Attorney’s Office cleared the two officers of any wrongdoing.

Sheena Chou, one of the creators of Justice For Mike Cho, sent a message to the group, saying she is offended by the $250,000 settlement.

Hello Friends,

I’ve been procrastinating. I apologize.

We will not be going back to court for a second trial in September. The Cho family has settled the case against La Habra Police
Department. The city has paid $250k, with less than half going to the Cho family after attorney fees.

I did not want to go through trial again. I realllly did not want to go through trial again. Every aspect of it makes you have hate in your heart. Trial was a joke. Their attorney was a joke. The cops are a joke. They tell lie after lie, contradicting themselves left and right, contradicting previous sworn testimony, saying whatever they want to say regardless of truth or validity. Witnesses couldn’t agree on anything. They pumped fear into the jury, were extremely rude and even said that MichaelCho didn’t care if he died. There is zero compassion for humanity, for human life, for anything at all. They did everything they could to have zero accountability, placing blame on everything and everyone but themselves.

So I didn’t want to sit through another 2 weeks of lies, photos of a bloody and dead friend, smirks from killer cops, etc. But $250k? I’m pretty offended by that number. Justice For Mike Cho fully supports the decisions of the family but we are still nonetheless offended and saddened by the world we live in. If the exact same thing happened and it was me in the cops’ shoes, I’d probably be in jail forever. But these cops went on paid vacation, got promoted and had the city “pay” for their deadly actions.

We will always remember you, Mike. Thank you for showing me how beautiful humanity Can be. You are loved and missed.

Thank you again to Korean Community Lawyers Association, October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, Los Angeles Coalition For Justice For Oscar Grant and all supporters of Mike, the Cho family and Justice For Mike Cho.

Sheena Chou
Justice For Mike Cho

Photo from Stop Police Brutality–Remember Michael Cho