2 Americans Murder Chinese Man After They Thought He Was Japanese, Trialed But Were Not Jailed (Video)
Two Americans killed a Chinese man in Detroit, USA back in 1982, because they thought he was Japanese. That time, Japanese car companies such as Toyota had an increasing sales, and many Americans lost their jobs. And because today is Thursday, it’s time for a throwback news so that this generation would be aware.
Based on records, 27-year-old Chinese American engineer Vincent Chin was severely beaten on June 19, 1982 by Ronald Ebens and his stepson, Michael Nitz. Mr. Ebes was then a Chrysler plant superintendent, and Nitz lost his job in a laid-off from his job in a non-Japanese car company in 1979. That time, Japanese cars are leading the market.
That night, 2 days his wedding, Vincent Chin was having his bachelor party in a strip club in Highland Park, Michigan. He had a heated exchange of words with Ebens, who made a negative remarks against him over a stripper. Shortly, Ebens allegedly told Chin, “It’s because of you little motherf*ck*rs that we’re out of work,” and mistakenly thought that he was a Japanese.
Ebens claimed that Chin punched him, and Nitz came in defense, and Chin’s group was later thrown out from the bar. And although his companions returned to the bar and apologized to Eben, Chin and his friends waited outside until Ebens and Nitz left the bar. Chin allegedly challenged Ebens to a fight, and the latter took a baseball bat from Nitz’ car, and chased him.
Chin ran away, but Ebens and Nitz searched for him and even paid someone to help them find him. The father-step son tandem found him in a McDonald’s restaurant, and Nitz held Chin while Ebens hit the Chinese man with the baseball bat at least four times, including in the head. Chin died June 23, 4 days later, and Ebens and Nitz were both charged with second-degree murder.
Apparently, Ebens and Nitz were given three years probation and were ordered to pay court fine, but were not sent to jail. This led to huge protests from the Asian American community all over US, and considered the incident as a hate crime. In 1984, a federal court judge sentenced Ebens to 25 years in prison, but acquitted Nitz from the case.
Ronald Ebens made an appeal, and the decision was overturned in 1986. A re-trial was made in Ohio, and the jury cleared him in 1987. Nevertheless, he was ordered to to pay $1.5 million to Chin’s family and Michael Nitz was ordered to pay $50,000. And yes, there are still hate crimes in America, not only because of race, but also because of gender and religion.