Building Our Legacy: The Murder of Vincent Chin
Vincent Chin was beaten to death in 1982 in Detroit. When the assailants didn’t even receive jail time, the injustice galvanized the Asian American community.
Special thanks to David Weinberg of JuryGroup for permission to use these images
SCRIPT EXCERPT: CROSS-EXAMINATION OF EBENS by MERRITT
NARRATOR 2: The prosecution cross-examined.
Q: Well, Mr. Ebens, you told us a lot about that night, but now you tell us that you blacked out and you can’t tell us much about the beating, is that right?
A: That is true.
Q: Let me show you Government Exhibit 14. Is that the bat you used to kill Vincent Chin?
A: I can’t tell you that; I don’t know.
Q: Could you show us how you were holding the bat when you asked Gary and Bob, where is your friend?
A: I can’t tell you that; I don’t know.
Q: Now, when you were in the car, saying when I catch these Chinese guys I’m going to bust their heads, you hadn’t blacked out yet?
A: I never said that.
Q: When you found Vincent Chin and said there they are, you hadn’t blacked out yet?
A: I don’t know.
Q: So, only when you caught up with Vincent Chin and started swinging the bat at him — that is when you blacked out; is that your testimony?
A: Just prior to it.
Q: You can’t remember hitting Vincent Chin in the head so he couldn’t run away?
Q: You don’t remember hitting him in the arms?
Q: You can’t remember hitting him in the chest and shoulder and face?
A: No, I can’t remember.
Q: You can’t remember hitting him in the head as he lay there lying on the ground?
A: No, I can’t.
Vincent Chin Trial Re-enactment at NJ Judicial College, November 19, 2012
In May 2012, the Asian American Arts Alliance and AABANY innovatively collaborated to present “Revising Vincent: The Legacy of the Vincent Chin Case 30 Years Later” which was performed at New York Law School to a large audience that included many members from community groups, followed by a talkback led by the Hon. Denny Chin and Dean Frank Wu who co-authored a trial re-enactment that formed the basis of the production. (Photo credit: Corky Lee.)
“Revisiting Vincent,” New York Law School, May 22, 2012
PERFORMANCES BY AABANY
NAPABA Annual Convention, Seattle, WA, November 22, 2008
NAPABA Northeast Regional Conference, Philadelphia, PA, April 25, 2009
NAPABA “Super-Regional” Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, June 2, 2012
New Jersey Judicial College, Teaneck, NJ November 19, 2012
Forchelli Conference Center at Feil Hall, Brooklyn, NY, February 21, 2017
White & Case LLP, New York, NY, May 22, 2019
PERFORMANCES BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
American Bar Association, Chicago, IL, August 1, 2009
Philadelphia Bar Association and APABA-PA, Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2009
American Bar Association, San Francisco, CA, August 7, 2010
State Bar of Arizona, Minority Bar Convention, Phoenix, AZ., April 14, 2011
AABA of Ohio and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, OH, May 12, 2011
Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL, November 4, 2011
APABA-DC, Thurgood Marshall Judiciary Building, Washington, DC, December 1, 2011
APALSA, Fordham Law School, New York, NY, February 16, 2012
APALSA, Hofstra Law School, Hempstead, NY, April 9, 2012
Asian American Arts Alliance and Museum of Chinese in America, entitled “Revisiting Vincent Chin,” New York Law School, New York, NY, May 22, 2012 (SEE VIDEO, ABOVE)
AABA-Chicago, Chicago, IL, August 18, 2012
UC Hastings Law School, San Francisco, CA, January 30, 2013
U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut, Hartford, CT, September 12, 2013
Asian American Civil Rights Conference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, March 21, 2015
Chicago Bar Association/Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, “Vincent Chin and the Development of Federal Hate Crimes Laws”, Lausanne, Switzerland, March 30, 2016
Harvard Law School APALSA, “The Murder of Vincent Chin,” February 4, 2017 (SEE VIDEO, ABOVE)
The Murder of Vincent Chin, Brooklyn Law School, Forchelli Conference Center at Feil Hall, Brooklyn, NY, February 21, 2017
APABA-DC, “Building Our Legacy: The Murder of Vincent Chin,” May 23, 2017
A Virtual Trial Reenactment: Remembering the Murder of Vincent Chin, Co-sponsored with Allen & Overy, New York, NY, May 28, 2020