I don’t think people realized how serious of trouble LiAngelo and his UCLA teammates were in.
If they were just regular American citizens they would still be in jail right and likely would have served a very long jail sentence. They admitted guilt, Wendell Brown is innocent and he could end up staying in jail for 10 years.
Here is the horrible story via Yahoo.
Wendell Brown, 30, is a former football star in Detroit, a standout at powerhouse King High School and then a three-year starting linebacker at Ball State in Indiana where he graduated in 2009. He later played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, a number of arena teams and even a professional league in Austria. He also coached the game, at King High and then a season as an assistant at Adrian College, a D-III program in Michigan.
In 2015, he found his way to Chongqing, China, a city of some 18 million in the southwest part of the country, to play and then, after an injury, coach in the American Football League of China. It seemed like an incredible opportunity. While there he taught English to adults and football to kids. He spoke at the U.S. Embassy about the game. To supplement his income, he opened a cross training business, Brown Elite Fitness.
Life was great until Sept. 24, 2016, when Brown attended a birthday party for a friend at a bar. As Wendell’s side tells it, he struggled to blend in when out on the town because many Chinese assumed he was either rich or famous. That night some men wanted to drink with him, but Brown declined. They got angry and a dispute broke out. Brown was later arrested for hitting a man. Brown claimed he never hit anyone and only raised his arms to block bottles being thrown at him.
Regardless, Brown was taken to the Chongqing Jiangbei detention center. He had never before been arrested. Faced with no American-style bail available, no discovery process about the evidence against him and a confusing array of laws that bear little resemblance to the United States, he’s spent the past 14 months in a Chinese jail.
Brown’s family said they were told there was little anyone could do until after a verdict in the case. The trial occurred in July, the court unexpectedly filled with Brown’s friends, both Americans he played and worked with and locals he trained and taught. An additional 100 letters of support, most from inside China, were presented. Antoinette and King didn’t attend, finding the cost of travel prohibitive while being fearful they, too, would get scooped up for nothing.
According to Brown’s friends who attended the trial, the evidence against him fell apart. The Chinese don’t release details or evidence and there is no independent media in China, however, his friends said the video surveillance showed he didn’t hit anyone, let alone with a bottle like it was alleged. It was revealed the man who claimed he was hit and had his eye injured by Brown, actually had suffered the injury in a previous incident, according to Brown’s friends. They claim Brown took the stand in his own defense and was compelling and convincing, noting that considering his size and strength, had he wanted to fight there would have been significant injuries.
That was July. There is still no verdict. It’s been four months without a ruling and no one knows when, if ever, one will come. Even if the evidence is what Brown’s supporters say, an acquittal remains a long shot. According to a study by William Nee, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Amnesty International, Chinese prosecutors enjoy a 99.2 percent conviction rate. Brown faces three to 10 years in prison.
This horrible, but also clearly illustrates the perils of being in alone in a foreign country.
Maybe Donald Trump will help Mr. Brown, who unlike LiAngelo and his teammates is completely innocent.