Some people in the New York Chinese-American community are outraged after former NYPD officer Peter Liang was found guilty of manslaughter in the killing of an unarmed black man.
CCTV America’s Liling Tan reports.
Follow Liling Tan on Twitter @LilingTan
Supporters said Liang is being used as a scapegoat while other police officers were cleared in similar police shootings.
A jury last week convicted 28-year-old Liang of manslaughter, after his gun went off in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project in 2014. The bullet ricocheted off a wall, and killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley.
Liang is also accused of failing to get immediate medical help for Gurley. His sentencing is slated for April 14th and he could face up to 15 years in prison.
Liang’s conviction comes amid nationwide scrutiny over police use of excessive force and after a string of white officers involved in fatal shootings of unarmed black individuals were cleared of crimes, prompting nationwide protests.
From the indictment to the guilty verdict, the case has angered and galvanized many in the Chinese American community. Nationwide protests are being planned this Saturday in at least 38 sites from New York to Los Angeles.
Organizers say turnout is expected to number in the thousands. However there are members of the Asian-American community who oppose supporting Liang.
Community organizer Esther Wang, who sits on the board of CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, wrote in Talking Points Memo last year that Liang supporters are showing hypocrisy.
“The argument [of supporters] basically boils down to this: If these white officers got off, so should Peter Liang,” Wang wrote.
“As a community, we can’t have it both ways. We can’t call for justice when an Asian person is harassed, targeted or killed by the police and then act to protect an Asian police officer when they’re the ones who’ve killed.”