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Chinese Americans Protest Conviction of Officer Who Killed Akai Gurley

21 Feb

Guess I am not the only one to notice the only officer getting convicted in NYC is non-white.

How Chinese American protesters are invoking Black Lives Matter

Jam-packed in a Brooklyn plaza Saturday, thousands of New York City’s Chinese American residents gathered to protest the conviction of former police officer Peter Liang, who fatally shot Akai Gurley, an unarmed black man, in 2014.

Mr. Liang was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter two weeks ago and faces up to 15 years in prison. But the roughly 10,000 protesters argue that the police department had unfairly sent Liang, who at the time of the incident was a rookie on the force, into a violence-ridden housing project.

They say that he is victim of prejudice himself, amid a criminal justice system that favors white officers like Daniel Pantaleo, who choked Eric Garner to death and yet eluded indictment.

Bearing signs that read “No Scapegoat!” and “One Tragedy, Two Victims,” the protesters – some of whom travelled from Connecticut and New Jersey – drew a connection between the fate of Liang and some of the recent deaths of unarmed African Americans at the hand of the police.

As reported by Gothamist, former City Comptroller John Liu addressed the thundering crowd, highlighting this link.

We understand the pain among our African-American brothers and sisters, who have witnessed the killing of one unarmed black man after another in continuous succession, with no prosecutions against the officers,” he said.

“So in an incident where an Asian-American officer shoots his gun, not aiming at anybody, shoots it by accident, we were all shocked last Thursday, when the guilty verdict came out,” he went on. “But were we really shocked?”

“For 150 years, there’s been a common phrase in America: ‘Not a Chinaman’s chance,’ which means if you’re Chinese in America, there’s no hope for you.”

But prosecutors characterized Liang’s conduct as reckless when he opened fire inside the Louis H. Pink Houses, arguing that he was also unsympathetic to Mr. Gurley after the shooting.

“While we know that Peter Liang did not intend to kill Akai Gurley, he was convicted because his reckless actions cost an innocent man his life,” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson told NBC News in an email statement Friday.

“This case is about what happened in Brooklyn, not Ferguson or Staten Island, and the jury convicted on the basis of these unique and tragic facts. My office will continue to pursue equal justice for all of Brooklyn.”

And the protest wasn’t met with unequivocal support. A simultaneous counter-protest emphasized the injustice of Gurley’s death and the importance of punishment. Members of an Asian American organization known as CAAAV were among those supporting Black Lives Matter activists in backing Liang’s conviction.

Soraya Sui Free, a nurse from the Bronx, was one of the participants in the counter-protest. She stood with a group donning signs that said, “Jail Killer Cops.”

Where is the empathy?” she said to The New York Times. “Peter Liang made a decision for Akai Gurley, and that decision was to die.”…More

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 21, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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4 responses to “Chinese Americans Protest Conviction of Officer Who Killed Akai Gurley

  1. lkeke35

    February 21, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    I still see Asian people’s point about this. Choking a man to death gets a person a paid vacation, if they’re white. Accidentally shooting someone gets a jail sentence, if you’re a PoC.

    That’s very interesting. I’ve noticed this a lot lately.

    Like

     
    • roderick2012

      February 22, 2016 at 2:25 PM

      But the DA in this case was black so that made a difference.

      If this incident had occurred in Staten Island Liang wouldn’t have been indicted.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • btx3

        February 22, 2016 at 5:46 PM

        Yeah – But somehow I don’t think they excluded all Asian American from the jury…

        Like

         
  2. Phil

    October 12, 2020 at 11:07 AM

    The mother of the victim screamed, “It wasn’t an accident! He murdered my son!” outside the court at his trial. Many people, like her, categorically rejected the premise that it was a mistake, in the first place. We shouldn’t talk about it as if it were a universally-accepted fact that it was just an honest mistake that brought about the shooting.

    This isn’t a movie. In the real world, there are degrees of culpability. Things aren’t always black-and-white, cut-and-dried.

    The officer chose to do several things that made him sufficiently culpable of a criminal offense, which is why he was convicted. However, the officer was not convicted of intentionally shooting the dude, since he didn’t.

    One can commit a crime without intending to commit it. The fact that something is unintentional does not represent an ironclad defense against a charge of misconduct.

    Think about drunk driving. Nobody who kills someone while drunk driving WANTED to kill anyone, but death is still the outcome, regardless, and their reckless actions make them culpable for it. Are they convicted of premeditated murder? No, because that’s not what they did. The fact pattern of their case doesn’t support that. Will they do as much time in prison as a full-on murderer? No, because they aren’t one — but they will do some time because they have recklessly caused the death of another person.

    It’s a total canard to selectively trot out this phony line about the officer’s race. It’s completely immaterial to his case, as the DA pointed out. All that matters at the trial were the specific actions that he performed. That’s all that matters at any trial, regardless of who the defendant is.

    Whataboutism is ALWAYS stupid, but never more so than in the case of crimes that result in death. Imagine a stone-cold murderer protesting at his trial, “Ah, but what about all the OTHER murderers! What about the ones who got away with it? You didn’t put them on the stand, so why are you coming after ME?!”

    That is essentially the argument being proffered by the people who were lobbying on the cop’s behalf in this case. “Other people got away with actions that caused the death of citizens, so he should be able to, as well.”

    The problem with that logic is that someone, somewhere, has gotten away with anything you can name. Some Nazis went unpunished for committing friggin’ genocide after WWII, for crying out loud. So if you’re setting the standard that you can’t punish someone for something that someone else has gotten away with, then nobody can ever be punished for anything. And represents the total abolition of justice.

    Like

     

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