OPINION-The jury has reached a verdict and has convicted rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang of fatally shooting Akai Gurley in a Brooklyn Housing Project (Pink Houses). Liang was found guilty of 2nd-degree manslaughter and official misconduct. When I heard the conviction, I wasn’t at all moved or surprised. I was happy that the family of Akai Gurley can now say they know what justice feels like for once. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same to the families of Rekia Boyd, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and the list goes on and on where I would name a 1,000 unarmed plus Black people killed by police and not receive a hint of justice.
I thought about the case against Liang and my thoughts ran on several reasons, why he was convicted in the first place.
- Peter Liang is an Asian American. Let’s be completely honest, if the police officer involved in the killing of an unarmed Black person were white, they would have more than likely been acquitted. We have heard countless shootings of unarmed Black people and not a single conviction when the officers are white. Does Eric Garner and Tamir Rice ring a bell? These killings were caught on video, for the world to see and the families still didn’t receive justice. The justice system is designed to protect those who are not of color and therefore, this verdict means absolutely nothing to me. Impress me, with a few convictions of white officers for a change.
- Peter Liang didn’t pass probation, and, therefore, the union wasn’t going to back him, like they would do other officers. You notice how quiet the rhetoric has been from NYPD Union Representative Pat Lynch? Sure Lynch released a statement, but he wasn’t [Suge Knight voice] all in the videos in support of Liang like he was running for political office. Lynch soft style of support for Liang was deafening. If Liang had been a veteran officer then maybe the support would have been more visible and loud, like Lynch and his cronies always show in spite of the glaring evidence against officers that they are representing.
- District Attorney Thompson did something most DA’s have refused to do in a case where a police officer kills an unarmed Black person. Thompson received an indictment from the very beginning. Everyone knows that a DA can indict a “ham sandwich”, and Thompson made it clear he didn’t want a special prosecutor to take over this case; he can convict a police officer of breaking the law on his own. I knew that Thompson wasn’t the one to mess around with when it comes down to convicting police officers, unlike his predecessor Charles Hynes. I voted for Thompson because I felt that he would show some integrity more so than the rest of the DA’s in the five boroughs that have purposely thrown cases for police. Unfortunately for Liang, he didn’t have Hynes to bail him out. Thompson’s team made a compelling case for a conviction and gave me a reason to be very proud that he received my vote and will continue to get my vote.
- Liang showed a total disregard for human life when he failed to provide first aid to a dying Gurley. Instead of performing CPR, Liang had the nerve to say he felt unqualified in carrying out CPR at the time of the killing. Didn’t he just graduate from the police academy? It’s a requirement that a police officer passes first aid training. What also topped it off was Liang arguing with his partner, as Gurley lay dying and didn’t lift up a finger to assist him. These instances more than likely rubbed juries the wrong way because he was flat out lying and that was a classic case of police misconduct. Manslaughter in the 2nd degree is the right call because a cop shouldn’t have his gun out, finger on the trigger while he is conducting a patrol. Liang was reckless, and it showed. Even though Liang claimed he didn’t have his finger on the trigger, so I guess a ghost must have pulled it while he was patrolling. The dishonesty in Liang’s testimony and his lack of compassion for the dying Gurley sealed his fate.
- I bet you some of the folks on that jury are tired of all these police shootings, and no one is being held accountable. Like I have stated previously, it’s up to the D.A. to force an indictment of a police officer. Once that is secured a jury trial will ensue, to see if they are guilty or innocent, it never reaches that far because police officers are rarely indicted. Juries know a regular civilian that discharges their weapon, recklessly will be going to jail. Therefore, cops in this country need to stop acting like they are above the law.
Now let’s see what presiding Judge Denny Chun, who is a Korean-American, in this case, will do when he hands down Liang’s sentence. I just want to read stories of justice like this when cops fail to uphold the law and kill unarmed civilians, with emphasis on Black bodies. We need to stop treating police officers like they are holier-than-thou to be convicted of a crime against people they swore to serve and protect, and that goes for officers of all races.
Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?