Former CFL Linebacker, Wendell Brown, 30, has been in a Chinese jail for the past 14 months with no intervention.
His story regained prominence with the arrest of the three UCLA basketball players -LiAngelo Ball, Halen Hill and Cody Riley – earlier this week on shoplifting charges.
When Antoinette Brown, Brown’s mother, saw the news that three UCLA basketball players were arrested for shoplifting in China, her heart sank. She thought about the pain their parents would go through.
“I felt bad for them because I know what we’ve been through,” she said. “I thought, these poor guys and their families are going to go through hell.”
The three UCLA players were back home in Los Angeles within 2 weeks, after the President of the United States and billionaire Jack Ma intervened on their behalf.
One of the players, 18-year-old LiAngelo Ball, is the younger brother of LA Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.
All charges have been dropped against the UCLA players and they are welcome to visit China anytime.
Antoinette and Travon King, Wendell’s father have been having sleepless nights and have been emailing people in China but nothing has come out of it.
When she read that President Trump demanded a thank you from the UCLA players, she said, “I’ll thank him.”
“If Trump helps us, if he helps Wendell, I won’t stop thanking him. He helped get three basketball players who were guilty get out. I pray he’ll help get my innocent son out. And if he does, I’ll thank him and thank him and thank him.”
Wendell Brown, who was helping coaching the Chongqing Dockers of the American Football League of China, had apparently been out with some friends on Sept 24, 2016 when according to witnesses, he was provoked by a group of locals who were upset that Brown would not party with them. One of the men escalated the incident by throwing a glass bottle at Brown, who retaliated out of self-defense. The local police were contacted following the altercation, and allegedly only arrested Brown. He has been in jail ever since.
Wendell Brown since his incarceration in Sept 2016, has been allowed almost no communication with the outside world till he was able to send a letter in March 2017 to his family.
He claimed he never hit anyone. But he was arrested for assaulting a man.
An hour later, he sat in a cell at the Chongqing Jiangbei detention center.
Wendell’s criminal trial was held in July. His defense lawyer presented surveillance video that backs up Wendell’s claim that he never touched anyone.
Despite a lack of evidence that he ever hit the man, the judge has refused to render a verdict.
Chinese officials reportedly suggested the family come up with $100,000 U.S.D. as restitution.
But the Browns are a low-income family who can’t afford to pay restitution.
Months later, Wendell still sits in jail waiting for the wheels of justice to budge.
Antoinette says he is visited once a month by the U.S. Consulate to make sure he is not being mistreated.
The judge has also stopped by the jail four times to check on Wendell.