Protests planned after NYPD officer Liang found guilty

World Today

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

Protests planned after NYPD officer Liang found guilty

Protests planned after NYPD officer Liang found guilty

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.
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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.”

  • JEng

    Did he call his union rep as the local newspapers reported after the shooting? Because that killed his reputation and made him seem worse than all the other police and may have gotten Officers Liu and Ramos killed.

    If he did not call his union rep as reported and his supporters refuse to bring that up, it shows how they see the power of the press machinery in NYC – it’s not unbiased and even to help him, they will refuse to offend the press and get them into trouble.

    If he did call his union rep and the press actually tried to protect the Chinese by not mentioning this detail coming out at trial, then the supporters are the ones who are endangering Chinese people right now.

    He’s not Holtzclaw regardless – but the newspaper very simply reported that the jurors held the gun and found the trigger too difficult to just go off as he claimed. There are issues of forthrightness and remorse and he may be smarter than my clueless brother but I can see how he wouldn’t be socialized enough to communicate in a way that did not look crappy on the stand including crying.

    But I don’t know how you protest what looks like a different treatment of him than other cops and not be indifferent to the victim’s life mattering. Are we saying that if he had killed a Chinese grandmother in that stairwell and been convicted, they would be having a protest tomorrow?

    Because the big problem is that if you claim that there is a white and black issue where cops are getting off easy – are you saying Officer Liang should get off easy after you acknowledge the injustice? Do they see the huge message that they are sending to non Chinese because Chinese feel this was a pure accident – not of malice – he couldn’t have known there was anyone in the stairwell – it’s not the same type of shooting.

    Everybody else is seeing his conduct post shooting and we all remember the damaging claim by the local press that he texted his union rep and was more concerned about losing his job. His supporters not using that to help him shows a huge problem with the fearsome clique-ishness in NYC.

    A Korean judge as has been brought up by Office Liang’s supporters is unlikely to go easy on him – but not just because he doesn’t want to show favoritism for Asians (what Korean would show bias for a Chinese?) but because it goes against Korean morality – that is another difficult truth that Officer Liang’s supporters do not want to address.

    I want him to be safe and not killed in jail but I want his serving his sentence to be the first step in making amends to the family of his victim. You have to be sorrier for the person you hurt than you are for your life lost for x amount of years because after those years, Mr. Gurley is still dead and no one is sorry enough about that.

    I think the cops keep an eye on Mr. Garner’s son out of kindness because they ARE very sorry about what happened unintentionally to him – they didn’t take his claims seriously about not being able to breathe. But Officer Liang is going to have to carry the burden of amends alone for Mr. Gurley and if he conducts himself properly, he will have done the right thing for the Chinese community as well who do not seek out violence against Black people other than the Dana Blake murder and that’s triad not ordinary Chinese values at all.

  • NicolasBourbaki

    Peter Liang is a piece of shit. Incompetent and no value for human life. But I also agree that had he been white they would not have been as harsh on him.

    • AdaLovelace

      The NYPD has standard protocols for dealing with situations where a police officer mistakenly kills an unarmed civilian. But the legal counseling and protection that they typically give to officers were not offered to Peter Liang. The internal leadership within the NYPD is deeply racist against non-white people. They made an intentional decision to scapegoat a Chinese man and use him to pay for the crimes of white men. This is the American justice system–one set of rules to protect white people, another set of rules to deal with Asians and other minorities.

      • NicolasBourbaki


  • Krismina

    I think your article is very misleading. The protests are not against just the indictment of Liang but it’s against the inequality of the whole judicial system and the NYPD. The nationwide rally today is asking for justice for both Gurley and Liang, as well as other minorities who have been victimized.

    Also, why are you bringing up what Esther said last year? That was a small group of people. Most supporters I know nowadays just want equal justice. They believe Liang should be held accountable but don’t believe he deserves 15 years in prison.