On Tuesday, July 23, 2019 the Chin family, International District Emergency Center (IDEC), and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian American Experience (The Wing) will host a vigil to remember the life and death of Donnie Chin. Chin, considered by many to be a community hero, founded IDEC 51 years ago in 1968.
IDEC grew over the years, but Donnie Chin was always its cornerstone. In a historically neglected neighborhood, Chin brought a sense of safety and stability. People were accustomed to seeing him run by in his khaki uniform and first aid kit. Chin saved hundreds of lives over his decades of service, and was usually the first person residents and business owners called when they needed help.
Donnie Chin was killed suddenly in the early hours of the morning on July 23, 2015 by gunfire between two rival gangs. His death came as a shock to the community, triggering grief and anger over the City’s neglect.
Immediately following Chin’s murder, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) announced that it would make the investigation a top priority. SPD officials also expressed confidence that they would be able to identify and apprehend the individual (or individuals) responsible.
Four years after Chin’s murder, the case remains unsolved. The longer the investigation remains open, the more the community fears that justice for Donnie will never become a reality.
The vigil will provide an opportunity for community members to gather and remember Chin, to mourn, and share their stories.
Since Donnie was not fond of candles, organizers are encouraging participants to bring glow sticks or electronic candles instead. For participants who do bring wax candles, organizers request that these be carried inside jars, mugs, or cups to minimize wax drip and fire risk.
Members of the press are welcome to attend the event, but are kindly asked to be considerate of other participants who are grieving.