Minnesota House and Senate DFL POCI Caucus Statement on Yia Xiong

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On February 11, Yia Xiong, 65, was shot and killed by St. Paul Police inside the apartment complex where he lived. 

In response, members of the Minnesota House and Senate DFL People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus released the following statement: 

“As we grieve Yia Xiong, we stand in solidarity with his family and community as they mourn this life taken by St. Paul law enforcement. Yia Xiong was a community elder; he should have been treated with respect and dignity by the people sworn to protect and serve him. He was a veteran and refugee; he should not have escaped violence in his home country only to die by violence here. He was hard of hearing; officers should have used disability-informed de-escalation, not deadly force.” 

“We, the members of the POCI Caucus, are united in solidarity and in struggle with Asian and Hmong communities, who face targeted discrimination and violence by individuals, police, and the racist, anti-immigrant, and ableist structures that undergird our society. We must work in together with renewed urgency to create a Minnesota free of systemic racism and institutional violence. 

“The pain we feel as we grieve Yia Xiong must translate into action. The POCI Caucus calls on all legislators to end police violence against community members and build a justice system that works for all, including people of color living with disabilities.” 

The members of the House POCI Caucus are Rep. Esther Agbaje, Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, Rep. Ethan Cha, Rep. Mary Frances Clardy, Rep. Cedrick Frazier, Rep. Aisha Gomez, Rep. Hodan Hassan, Kaohly Vang Her, Rep. Athena Hollins, Rep. Samakab Hussein, Rep. Heather Keeler, Rep. Alicia Kozlowski, Rep.  Fue Lee, Rep. Liz Lee, Rep. Mohamud Noor, Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega, Rep. Ruth Richardson, Rep. Samantha Sencer-Mura, Rep. Samantha Vang, and Rep. Jay Xiong.  

The members of the Senate POCI Caucus are Senator Mary Kunesh, Senator Bobby Joe Champion, Senator Omar Fateh, Senator Foung Hawj, Senator Alice Mann, Senator Erin Maye Quade, Senator Zaynab Mohamed, Senator Susan Pha, Senator Clare Oumou Verbeten, and Senator Tou Xiong.  


Jess Yeganeh