Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2016

Ex-NYPD officer Liang avoids prison for killing man (2)

By PAUL WELITZKIN (China Daily)    13:42, April 20, 2016

Akai Gurley's cousin, Znobia Spears, cried after Liang's sentence. HEZI JIANG/China Daily

The indictment and prosecution of Liang, who is of Chinese heritage, created uproar among Chinese-Americans who said he was being made a scapegoat to compensate for white police officers not indicted in which unarmed black men were killed. They cited the cases of Eric Garner, a Staten Island, New York, man placed in a chokehold by police officers, and Michael Brown, a teenager shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri. Both deaths occurred months before the Gurley shooting.

After his trial and conviction, rallies organized primarily by Chinese-American groups in support of Liang were held in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and other cities. Following the trial dozens rallied outside of New York police headquarters in support of the Gurley family.

"We are glad about the judge's decision, but we still stand behind the fact that this is an accident, not a crime," said John Chan, chairman of Brooklyn Asian Communities Empowerment, which has raised more than $300,000 for Liang and his family. "We support him to appeal the conviction."

"We are moving in the right direction, taking the steps toward justice," New York State Assemblyman William Colton said. Colton said Liang is "a scapegoat and a distraction" of the government‘s failure to address the "terrible, deplorable conditions" at the pink houses, such as the darkened staircase and high crime rate.

In a statement, New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim commended Chun for "rendering a difficult verdict in one of the toughest cases this city has faced in recent years. The pursuit of justice is all too often clouded by the pressures of politics and hampered by hyper-charged emotions on all sides."

New York police officers are rarely indicted by grand juries, much less put on trial, for deaths they cause in the line of duty. The most recent officer to be convicted of a line-of-duty killing was Bryan Conroy, who in 2005 was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the fatal shooting of an unarmed African immigrant, Ousmane Zongo. In that case, a State Supreme Court judge sentenced Conroy to five years' probation.

Hezi Jiang contributed to this report.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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