IN THE NEWS: Conviction and confusion about justice

A Brooklyn jury convicted New York police officer Peter Liang of second-degree manslaughter and official misconduct for the killing of Akai Gurley, prompting protests from many in the Asian American community who are defending Liang and seeking leniency for him.

Although it was an accidental shooting committed by the rookie Chinese American policeman, the jury determined that the reckless and negligent actions of the New York police officer resulted in the death of the unarmed African American man in a stairwell of a housing project. The case has been linked to the highly publicized series of fatal police actions on other unarmed Black men which gave rise to the Black Lives Matter protests.

In spite of the claims by the pro-Liang protesters that he was a “scapegoat,” prosecuted unfairly because he is Asian American, while white policemen have escaped punishment for more egregious cases of police killings of unarmed African American men, these concerns in the end do not outweigh or exclude the need for justice for the primary victims –  Akai Gurley and his family.

Screenshot 2016-02-25 07.21.13New York Times Video

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Photo: NYPD by Franz Golhen

 

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