Target: District Attorney Ken Thompson
Goal: Denounce the prosecution and scapegoating of an Asian-American police officer who accidentally shot an innocent victim.
NYPD Officer Peter Liang was convicted for second-degree manslaughter and faces being sentenced to 15 years in prison after the accidental shooting of Akai Gurley. This conviction and the subsequent punishment are out of proportion to the crime.
The incident happened when Liang and another officer were in a dark stairwell in East New York and Liang’s gun went off. The bullet ricocheted off a wall and killed Gurley in a tragic accident. Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson has made a scapegoat out of Liang to appease some members of the public after numerous grievances regarding police mistreatment and misconduct.
Comparisons have been drawn between Gurley’s death and the death of Eric Garner by police chokehold. The officer who killed Garner has gone free from prosecution, while Liang faces serious jail time for his completely unintentional killing. This is just another chapter in the history of discrimination of Asian-Americans by the justice system.
Officer Liang has been made an example of by an unfair justice system, while other officers of a different race have been excused for worse incidents. Sign this petition and denounce the decision of the District Attorney and the courts to prosecute this man in such a harsh and unjust manner.
Dear Mr. Thompson,
Officer Peter Liang faces 15 years of jail time for the accidental killing of Akai Gurley. This is a travesty of justice considering the circumstances of the killing. Other officers who have committed more severe mistakes have gotten off with lesser punishments, while others still have gotten off completely. This seems to be a clear case of discrimination against Asian-Americans.
There is historical precedent for this in the treatment of Asian-Americans by the justice system, such as the light penalties for the murderers of Vincent Chin. On top of that, it appears that the District Attorney is using Liang as an easy scapegoat to atone for the sins of other police officers in an era when the public is calling out for justice in regards to police misconduct.
Liang’s gun went off accidentally, and he had no intention of killing or even shooting anyone in that stairwell in East New York. The conviction and potential 15 year sentence he faces is not proportionate to the crime and is blatantly unjust in the face of similar cases of killings by police officers such as the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island.
This conviction is a perversion of the course of justice. I urge you to treat Officer Liang with fairness and either overturn his conviction or appeal for the lightest possible sentence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: George Garrigues