All posts tagged: Lao American

BREAKING: Police Officer Found “Justified” in Killing of Sylasone Bong Ackhavong

“On April 19th, 2016, a Laotian refugee who appeared to be experiencing mental health issues was shot and killed by the SWAT team in Charlotte. His name was Sylasone “Bong” Ackhavong and he was 41 years old. Bong’s family had no idea about the details of his death until a CMPD officer met them to tell them more, a few months after his death. At that time, the family learned that CMPD was investigating the shooting themselves, and they requested that the investigation be taken over by the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI). Yesterday, January 4th, 2017, Bong’s family met with the district attorney to hear the results of the investigation. The SBI decided that SWAT Officer O.M. Lester was justified in shooting, and killing, Bong and that he will not be prosecuted for his actions.” via Southeast Asian Coalition #JusticeforBong Here’s the full statement from the Ackhavong family: LLOTP will update as more information becomes available. Other media coverage (read with critical lens):  

Lao America’s 2016 Year in Review

It’s been a year of historic proportions for Lao America. We witnessed the start of the Obama’s administration renewed pivot to Laos, the continued cultural renaissance of Lao artists across the diaspora community, a surprising and unexpected U.S. presidential outcome, as well as deaths in the community looming in the air. Here’s a brief summary of some accomplishments, happenings and highlights from Lao America below to close out 2016. As 2017 approaches us in a few days, here at LLOTP, we’re committed to continuing the way in building and amplifying more diverse voices in the Lao diaspora. January Laos saw U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (as well as Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications & Speechwriting) return to Laos to jumpstart President Obama’s pivot to Southeast Asia. This is ahead of the ASEAN Summit in California in February. Rumors surrounding Laos got so out of hand that folks at Disney actually had to step in and say that there were no plans for a Lao-edition of Disneyland, despite claims that were getting …