Nearly 30 years in the game, and folks still can’t get enough of the Wu-Tang Clan. And with so many members making up the revered group, there are so many stories we haven’t even heard from them yet. But thanks to shows like Hulu’s Wu-Tang: American Saga, fans get to delve deeper into the lives of Staten Island’s finest.
In episode 6 of the hit series, we watch a childhood friend of the clan get murdered in broad daylight by an NYPD officer who grew up with them in the same neighborhood of the Park Hill Projects.
The tragic scenes shows Sha, Rebel and Method Man look on helplessly as their friend, Haze, fights for his life. The gleam in their eyes at the end of the gut wrenching scene may have been the spark that got the frenemies to come together to form the Wu we know and love today.
The saddest part about the whole thing is that Haze’s murder is based on a true story. Back in 1994, 23-year-old Ernest Sayon died after suffering a head injury during a struggle with police officer Donald Brown.
The struggle between Mr. Sayon and the police officer, identified as Donald Brown, occurred about 6 P.M. after several officers on an anti-drug patrol went to an apartment complex at Park Hill Avenue and Sobol Court, the police said.
After the officers heard what they thought was a gunshot, Officer Brown tried to detain Mr. Sayon and a struggle ensued. It was not clear how Mr. Sayon suffered the head injury — a fact that seemed to fuel confusion and anger in the neighborhood.
The case is eerily similar to the 2014 murder of Eric Garner who died of asphyxia after a struggle with police. Exactly 20 years earlier, the government still had the same response:
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani urged people not to rush to any judgment. “We’re urging everyone to wait, not to draw any conclusions here and to remain calm. We’ve been through situations like this in this city before — where what appears one way at first turns out to be another way a little bit later.
So it would be a shame if anybody jumped to conclusions here before at least there was an opportunity to have a full and complete investigation.”
Sadly, and unsurprisingly, Officer Brown was clear of all charges brought up against him. Method Man spoke about the case during a 2015 sit down with the Huffington Post:
Fortunately for the clan, most of them outlived the horrid struggles they endured and are able to share them with us today. Peace to Ernest Sayon, and word to the Wu. Catch “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” available on HULU now.
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