Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, Inc.

News: Karma Tamang

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Late on the night of July 21, 2012, Karma Tamang, dressed in a green shirt and dark jeans, was returning home in his car when he was shot in the face by an unknown gunman.  To his family, friends, and neighbors, Karma was known as a kind man whose loss will be felt deeply by everyone, and particularly by his wife and three children.


Karma Tamang (1977-2012)

After living for 20 years in the Beldangi-2 refugee camp with over 20,000 other exiles from Bhutan, Karma survived without running water, electricity, and sanitary facilities in a bamboo hut.  He finally achieved the dream of living in the land of freedom and hope, only to be murdered as he was sitting in his car. 

 
 

The Bhutanese refugee community is distraught about this event.  Bhutanese refugees live in fear of more violence, even as they are trying to learn how to live safely and harmoniously in a new culture.  The people in this community are really shocked. 

The Akron City Police held a meeting at 5:30 P.M. on July 25, 2012 at a church hall near the International Institute of Akron and announced that the gunman had already been identified and apprehended.  Corey Michael Hardison, a homeless 21-year-old man, has been charged with murder and felonious assault in the death of Karma Tamang.   
 

 
 
Diane Johnson

Diane Johnson (left), Executive Director of the International Institute of Akron, started the meeting by introducing Captain Sylvia Trundle (right) of the Akron City Police.  She said that everyone wants to get to the bottom of this recent crime and to assure the safety of all refugees and immigrants.  She said that refugees need to help the police if people are menacing them or breaking any laws. 


Captain Sylvia Trundle
 
 

Officer Mark said that there is a new gang unit active in the North Hill area.  It is called "FOG" and tends to wear purple colors.  The members are between 13 and 21 years old.  If you see anything that looks like gang activity, notify the police (911) right away, particularly if they seem dangerous or threatening.  The police need your help to identify these gang members. 


Bhim Dhungana with Officers

Officer Dan Paster said that someone from the Bhutanese community who lives on Dayton Street called the police and helped them make an arrest after a man stole two air conditioning units.  They said that this kind of help from residents was necessary for them to arrest the thief.

The police do not monitor citizenship status or make refugees or immigrants leave this country. 

 
 
Bishnu Tamang (seated at left of table)

If you see a crime being committed, it is important to be a good witness.  Be sure you can describe the criminals.  Remember their skin color, their clothing, and try a get a license plate number if they are in a car.  Call quickly so the police can locate the criminals right away.


Audience at meeting
 
 

Officer Jerry Hughes said to be very careful about putting any personal information on Facebook because the FOG gang members are looking at Facebook. 

Gang members target immigrants and refugees because they know that they are often afraid to call the police, and because many of them do not speak fluent English.  In the United States the police really want to help people and protect them.   


Naresh Subba asking question

Many people asked questions during the meeting.  Captain Trundle said that almost all of the murders in Akron have been related to drugs and domestic violence.  Karma's murder is the only case in Akron that was not related to drugs or domestic violence. 

She said that crimes like this are sometimes a "rite of passage" for new gang members who have to prove themselves by committing crimes. 

 
 
People listening to speaker

It is important that you call the police if you feel threatened.   If you feel that you cannot talk to the police, you can contact your case manager at the International Institute of Akron. 

The police are working very hard to get rid of the criminals.  They want people to feel safe. 


Refugees and immigrants working together
 
         
  Over 100 refugees; about 11 police officers; several staff members from the International Institute of Akron; the President, Secretary, and some Trustees of the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron; representatives from the North Hill Community House, and Heather from the Victim Assistance Program attended the meeting.   
   
UPDATE:
   
  The July 25, 2013 issue of the Akron Beacon Journal ran a front-page story about the conviction of Karma's murderer.  The story can be viewed at this link:  http://bit.ly/12Nws7R

Corey Michael Hardison of Cuyahoga Falls "...pleaded guilty to one count of murder, one count of participating in criminal gang activity, a firearm specification and an unrelated burglary charge -- for breaking into a home and stealing a television the day after the fatal shooting..."  An assistant Summit County prosecutor said "...Hardison was given a mission to move up in the gang's ranks..."  He was told to kill a police officer; however, he refused "...but said that he'd be willing to kill a foreigner instead."
 
         
 

Written by Terry Kuhn and Nilam Ghimirey
 
 
More stories about this incident:

http://akronnewsnow.com/news/local/item/45335-weekend-homicide-suspect-arrested

http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/akron_canton_news/suspect-arrested-charged-in-akron-blaine-avenue-murder

http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/homeless-man-arrested-in-akron-slaying-1.322495

http://www.bhutannewsservice.com/main-news/politics/unidentified-gunmen-kill-resettled-person-in-akron/

http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/akron-man-shot-to-death-1.322075

http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_summit/man-found-in-car-with-gunshot-wound-to-head-dies-at-akron-city-hospital

 
         
 

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