March 8, 2015
From Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA)
APAPA Statement on Officer Liang’s Indictment
In the early morning hours of November 20th, 2014, Chinese American police officer Peter Liang accidentally fired his weapon while on duty. The bullet ricocheted off the wall and struck and killed Mr. Akai Gurley in the dark stairwell of a dangerous house project. We, as APAPA and as the Chinese American community, sincerely are saddened by the accident and wish to express our deepest condolences to Mr. Gurley’s family.
Prior to this incident, there were two cases where police killed unarmed African Americans within a few months. The case in Ferguson, Missouri, led to widespread protests and riots throughout the country. The case of Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York, was caught on video tape as an officer used the choke restraint and Mr. Garner suffocated and died. Both cases were reviewed by grand jury and neither resulted in indictment. These cases led to brewing anger among African American communities and there were even calls for assassination of police officers. Indeed, Detective Ramos and Liu were gunned down, execution style, in their patrol car recently. The APAPA family shares the pain of their families. Against this backdrop, the unfortunate accidental shooting by Officer Liang, not surprisingly, resulted in indictment of the very serious charge of Second Degree Manslaughter, among others.
This tragedy occurred in the face of an inexperienced rookie officer sent to the well known hotbed of crime for foot patrol, in the pitch black stairwell with broken lighting. Officer Liang’s indictment for 3 counts of felony is shocking to, and drew intense scrutiny from the Chinese American community throughout the country. We believe the tremendous political pressure resulting from the protests against the two infamous recent cases above played a role in the indictment by the District Attorney and the Grand Jury. We strongly urge that politics not to interfere with the fair treatment of Officer Liang in the judiciary. He should not be the scapegoat of our societal ills. Our police officers who risk their lives to protect us also have caring parents, spouses, and children who love them. They too should receive equal protection under the law!
APAPA intends to support Officer Liang and his family with the following action.
1) APAPA will offer $10,000 in one to one matching for donations made to support Officer Liang. For every dollar donated specifically for this case on or before April 30th, 2015, APAPA National Governing Board members will donate the same amount. We will be in contact with Officer Liang and his family to determine the best use of this fund. APAPA is a respected national organization with strict accounting control.
To donate, please send a check to:
C/O Officer Peter Liang Fund
4000 Troxel Road, Suite 3
Sacramento, CA 95834
Or visit www.apapa.org and click on the “Donate” button at the bottom of the Home Page. Please send a follow up email to info@APAPA.org indicating your donation is for the Officer Peter Liang Fund.
2) APAPA New York Chapter will mobilize its members to participate in effort to support Officer Liang, as it did during the March 8th rally. APAPA National will provide logistic support.
3) APAPA New York Chapter leader Michelle Wang will carefully monitor the case as it moves through the legal system to ensure Officer Liang is treated fairly. We will assist in legal advice through our network of legal experts as the need arises.
4) APAPA will ask political and community leaders we have worked with over the past 13 years to issue statements calling for fair treatment of Officer Liang.
APAPA, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association, is a Sacramento, California based organization with the mission to educate and empower Asian Americans to participate in civil affairs. APAPA currently has 13 chapters throughout the United States, including one in New York City.
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