A vocal group from leaders from the Chinese American community plans to hold several rallies across the country in support of Peter Liang, the New York City Police Officer indicted in the shooting death of Akai Gurley (photo by Tina Leggio).
Gurley was killed in a darkened stairwell by Liang when he says his gun accidentally went off as he patrolled a Brooklyn Housing Project
“Officer Liang is being used as a scapegoat,” said Doug Lee of the Coalition of Asian Americans for Civil Rights. “As the tragic death of Akai Gurley was clearly an accident, there is no logical explanation for the severity of charges against him and the aggressive manner in which he is prosecuted. This is clearly selective enforcement of the law for political purposes.”
Zak Cheney-Rice sees it differently. In his blog for Mic, Cheney-Rice says there is nothing controversial about the indictment of Liang.
Cheney-Rice accuses the protestors of dismissing the death of an innocent man, Gurley. Cheney-Rice writes:
“Racial equality can’t be selective. Equality is for everyone, so either everybody is equal, or racial equality doesn’t exist. It’s absurd to claim that equality for Chinese American police officers means granting them the same impunity to kill unarmed black men as white police officers.”
Protestors question why Liang is being indicted when white officers haven’t been indicted in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY.
The Coalition of Asian Americans for Civil Rights also has critics within the Asian American community.
“When an innocent person dies, as a police officer, you have to be accountable,” New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin said in a statement. “At the end, maybe the sentence might be lighter, based on the situation. But there’s a responsibility there that someone has to be accountable.”
The rallies by the Coalition are scheduled for April 26.
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