The Community Dinner to Stand With Families and Remember Stolen Lives was organized by Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) in Minneapolis, MN. Thao Xiong took the microphone to tell the story of when he first met Phumee Lee in East St. Paul. Thao also encouraged Phumee’s mother and gave her some love from the people gathered to listen and heal the wounds of violence in the community.

Taken in the context of Part 1 – Remembering Brian Quinones and Part 3 – Remembering Isak Aden, the story of Phumee Lee obviates the divisive distinction of class and criminalization. In many eyes, those untrained and indifferent as well as those more openly hateful, the 3 dead men are interchangeable and to blame for their own demise. Whatever put each of them within shooting range of a gang of cops with their guns drawn, none deserved to be executed. None. Every stolen life is a series of unfinished stories cut short before the end. Yet here we are. Here too are their families. Listen to Thao Xiong honor Phumee Lee’s mother.

The deeply personal stories Thao Xiong told in these 2 videos highlights the power of community to provide space and support for people to share their experience and thoughts. Thao is a riveting storyteller and his stories resonated with the supporters at the Community Dinner. Encourage him to keep writing and keep telling stories. Followers of New Hughes – Old Shoes and the New Hughes Video Feed may recall Thao as The Bike Guy at the Wall of Forgotten Natives. That is Thao honoring the legacy of Phumee. Right there in the community. Right here with his family. Thank you Thao, for the help you have given me. Stay strong.