83rd United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch. • Courtesy Photo
83rd United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch. • Courtesy Photo

A number of organizations, scientists, engineers, professors, and members of the Asian Pacific Islander Community have condemned an apparent pattern of targeting Chinese-Americans by federal officials.

In November, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch concerning targeting of Chinese American scientists for alleged spying and espionage. The Commission’s letter expressed concern that the government may be failing to exercise sufficient due diligence when targeting Chinese Americans. The letter also requested that the Department of Justice increase training and oversight in ongoing and future investigations and prosecutions.

And recently, a petition to the Attorney General was created on Change.org by concerned scientists, engineers, and professors asking Lynch to conduct an independent investigation into several cases. As of this publication, the petition had 5,485 supporters and a goal of 7,500.

The petition reads: “While we support the government’s effort to investigate and prosecute the stealing of government and corporate secrets, we are appalled by the apparent pattern of singling out Chinese-Americans, without adequate investigations, by federal law enforcement and prosecutors on the basis of ethnicity in violation of their equal protection rights. Following are two recent examples.

“Five months after the arrest of Sherry Chen of National Weather Service, the case was dismissed on the eve of her trial without explanation. Similarly, Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, Chair of the Physics Dept. at Temple University, was dragged from home with guns pointed at his wife and children. His case was also dismissed by the court. The government’s evidence was not even related to the technology it claimed to be. Chen and Dr. Xi’s reputation and careers have been damaged irreparably and their families have suffered mentally and financially.

“We request the DOJ to conduct an independent investigation into the cases of Sherry Chen, Dr. Xi, and other similar cases regarding whether race, ethnicity, or national origin played an illegal role.”

To view or sign the petition, visit www.change.org/p/stop-prosecuting-the-innocent.

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