Raised in Detroit, Chin was the adopted son and the only child of Bing Hing Chin (陳炳興) and Lily Chin (陳余瓊芳). more pre-June 1982 background needed
On the night of June 19, 1982, a fight among them ensued at the strip club where Chin was having his bachelor party. The group was thrown out and after a heated exchange of words subsequently parted ways. Ebens and Nitz searched the neighborhood for 20 to 30 minutes before finding Chin at a fast food restaurant. Chin tried to escape, but was held by Nitz while Ebens attacked Chin with a baseball bat. Chin was struck at least four times with the bat, including blows to the head. When rushed to the hospital, he was brain-dead and died after four days in a coma.
Ebens and Nitz were convicted in a county court for manslaughter, after a plea bargain brought the chagres down from second degree murder. They were given light punishment -- three years probation and a $3,000 fine. Many considered it unfair justice.
In 1983, journalist Helen Zia and lawyer Lisa Chan led the fight for federal charges against the two. A 1984 federal civil rights case against the men found Ebens guilty and setenced him to 25 years in prison; Nitz was acquitted. After an appeal, Ebens' conviction was overturned on a legal technicality in 1986 -- a federal appeals court found an attorney improperly coached prosecution witnesses. After a retrial in 1987, Ebens was cleared of the charges by a jury in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Later, a civil suit against Ebens was settled out of court for US $1.5 million, which would be paid to Chin's estate over time.
The case of Vincent Chin became a rallying point for the Asian Pacific American community, which had never before acted as a unified group in the United States.
He was the subject of an 1989 Academy-award nominated documentary by Christine Choy called, "Who Killed Vincent Chin?"