Joint Statement on Peter Liang Sentencing
April 22, 2016
Official Joint Statement from Asian/Chinese American Organizations on the Sentencing of Former NYPD Officer Peter Liang in the Killing of Akai Gurley
Asian Americans United, Philadelphia
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, New York City
Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED), Los Angeles
Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco
Chinese Progressive Association, Boston
We are outraged that Peter Liang has escaped accountability for killing Akai Gurley. For more than a year, Akai Gurley’s family has been courageously speaking out to demand justice for their loved one. Judge Chun’s sentencing decision today is an insult to Akai Gurley, his family, and all victims of police violence. Any amount of jail/prison time is a brief snippet of time compared to the lifetime Akai Gurley’s young daughters will have to live without their father. The sentencing sends the message that it is okay to kill innocent and precious lives, as long as it is done by a police officer.
Akai Gurley was only 28-years old when he was struck and killed by the bullet fired by Peter Liang who failed to provide necessary medical help or call the ambulance. Akai’s aunt, Hertencia Petersen, remembers Akai as a good son and nephew, who joked and smiled a lot. He provided for his younger brothers and sisters and took care of Akaila and Kamiya, his daughters. Since the killing of Akai, his family has been suffering and mourning for their loss, as well as standing strongly together with the community to demand justice.
While the Chinese media and some Chinese leaders stood behind former Officer Peter Liang, as grassroots organizations working with Asian/Chinese Americans, we continue to stand with the family of Akai Gurley and other innocent victims of police killings to hold all police officers accountable, regardless of race. We continue to affirm that if we believe in true racial justice, we cannot excuse an officer for killing an innocent unarmed black man because Peter Liang is Chinese or Asian like us. We know that the strength of our power is fully realized when we stand together with those who also face injustice. We cannot forget when other communities of color stood with us against the police killing of Yong Xin Huang in 1995 and other incidents of police brutality and countless critical moments our communities were also hurt. We have a responsibility to protect our prosperity by protecting ALL families and that means also the family of Akai Gurley who has lost their loved one forever.
We can tip the scales to fit our needs, but it doesn’t mean we’ve reached justice. Our hunger for true justice, for a world where we all have a chance to thrive and grow old must be realized. We showed everyone and ourselves the political power we are capable of. We must challenge the abuse of power where it is most evident - where families are losing loved ones with no accountability of the officers who kill them. Nothing will bring Akai back, but we must hold all police officers accountable to continue to fight for violence-free communities and win change in our systems and institutions.
雖然中文媒體和一些華人領袖支持梁彼得警員，但作為代表亞裔／華裔美國人的草根機構，我們會繼續與格里及其他被警察殺害的無辜受害者站在同一陣線，嚴厲要求所有警察，不論種族，都要為自己的行為負責 。我們堅信如果想得到真正的種族正義，絕不能開脫任何一個殺死無辜又手無寸鐵的黑人的警員，即使他和我們一樣是華裔。惟有與同樣面對不公義的人並肩同行，我們的強大力量才得以體現。我們不能遺忘其他數之不盡的警察暴力事件， 例如在1995年黃永新被警察無辜殺害的事件。 當我們華人社區受到傷害時，其他有色人種社區堅決與我們站在一起爭取正義。如想保障華人社區的繁榮發展，我們有責任保護所有的家庭，包括格里的家庭。
我們可以斷章取義來配合我們的需要，但這並不代表我們真正得到了正義。我們必須達到對真正公義的追求，發展一個大家都有機會一展所長和安居樂業的世界。在這次事件裡，我們華人社區向其他人和自己都展現了我們所擁有的政治力量。我們必須用我們的政治力量挑戰其他人濫用權力最顯著的地方， 例如保護和確保無辜被警員奪走至親的家庭能得到正義，而不是眼睜睜的看著殺害無辜的警員逃脫責任。沒有任何事可以讓格里能回到他的家人身邊，但我們可以為他和他的家人爭取他們應有的正義。 我們必須確保每一個警員不會濫用暴力和魯莽行動，同時繼續爭取沒有暴力的社區，改善我們的系統和機構。