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The Persecution and Robbery of an Elderly Man from Kaiping

The Persecution and Robbery of an Elderly Man from Kaiping

2021
103" x 52”
Archival print

The Persecution and Robbery of an Elderly Man from Kaiping is an electronic painting made from manipulated video stills assisted by Google street views. The original video shot and posted to social media by Dwayne Grayson, 20, captures the persecution of an Asian man while being robbed of his collected cans by 56-year-old Jonathan Amerson. The crime occured on Osecola Ln, San Francisco on Feb 22, 2020. This was his second theft at the hands of Amerson.

Both Grayson and Amerson were arrested on elder abuse charges, however, the San Francisco District Attorney withdrew the charges following the elder's expressed desire for a restorative justice outcome, in which prosecutors seek to rehabilitate offenders through reconciliation with victims.

The aging scavanger, whose name has not been released to the public, is in his 70s and is originally from Kaiping in the Guangdong province of China. The man, who has lived in San Francisco for six years, supports himself by collecting cans. According to local news reports, the victim said that during the assault he was hit in the head with his grabber tool and robbed of his cans but made of point of saying that there were several friendly people in that neighborhood, some of whom actually gave him their cans. It was only a few people who surrounded him and roughed him. Nonplussed by the crime, the elder gentleman was back collecting cans several days later on the streets of Bayview-Hunters Point. The industrious and noble collector has refused any help or donations although $70,000 was raised for him on Gofundme.