Hoodline, a neighborhood news aggregator. Marchers were protesting the manslaughter conviction of New York City police officer Peter Liang for the shooting of Akai Gurley, a Black 28 year old walking down the stairs in a housing project. The rookie cop accidentally fired down a dark stairwell; a ricocheting bullet pierced Gurley's heart. Testimony that after the shooting Liang seemed more interested in saving his own career than in trying to save the dying man probably weighed against him with a Brooklyn jury.
As soon as I heard of this shooting, I thought to myself "Damn -- I bet they go after the Chinese cop." And "they" did. A "justice system" that couldn't indict the officer who was videotaped squeezing the life out of Eric Garner did manage to convict Liang. It's not surprising that many in the Chinese community can easily imagine that bigotry was involved; the discrepancy between what usually happens to cops who kill and Officer Liang's fate seems glaring.
Yet Asian American organizations which have decades of experience struggling for more justice from the police have advanced an opposing view. The Asian Pacific Labor Alliance responded to the verdict:
CAAAV (founded 30 years ago as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) wrote of the Gurley shooting:
On DailyKos, a report on a study of police killings concluded that simply increasing the number of officers of color isn't going to be enough to stop police shootings. Law enforcement will still be most active and visible in poor, usually non-white, communities where cops are socialized to see themselves as keeping underlying "thuggish" violence under wraps. With this mindset, regardless of individual ethnicity and even good intentions, they will believe they are licensed to kill if threatened. The struggle to make police departments subject to the law they claim to represent will be long and must be won if "justice" is to have any meaning.