CPA Statement On Peter Liang, Akai Gurley and the Struggle for Racial Justice
February 18, 2016
Recently, a number of Chinese leaders and Chinese newspapers have called for our community to rally behind Officer Peter Liang, who was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, i.e. the accidental killing of an 28 year-old unarmed Black man named Akai Gurley. Liang was also found guilty of misconduct for failing to provide medical help or call an ambulance for the dying victim.
The basic facts of the case are not under dispute, but supporters of Officer Liang claim that he is being scapegoated because he is Chinese, pointing to the many white cops who have killed Black victims and gone free.
As a 39 year-old civil rights organization, we are the first to agree that Chinese, Latino, and Black officers face racial discrimination in police forces across the country, and we continue to stand up for our communities to have equal representation and equal promotional opportunities in all fields.
We also agree that every white cop who has abused or killed an innocent victim should be indicted and punished. That is why many of our members have participated in #BlackLivesMatter protests to hold every one of those officers accountable, and why we have similarly stood up for local Chinese victims of police abuse over the years.
But if we believe in racial justice, we cannot excuse an officer for killing an innocent, unarmed Black man and failing to provide medical help—just because he is Chinese like us. Instead, we should unite our community to fight for the indictment of white officers, or those of any race, and stand in solidarity with other communities of color who demand justice for all victims.
Please see our earlier earlier statement on police brutality, the prison system, and #BlackLivesMatter: