WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 16, 2016) – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is concerned about fairness in holding police accountable for on-duty shootings, particularly in the wake of the conviction of Officer Peter Liang in Brooklyn.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to Akai Gurley’s family,” said Leslie Moe-Kaiser, OCA National President. “We support the value of black lives unequivocally. However, we must distinguish the instances of harm and death perpetrated against communities of color by law enforcement officers and the pervasive, institutionalized bias which protects such officers from the unintentional actions of Officer Liang. We hope that there is an understanding that the physical environment Officer Liang was thrust into, the insufficient training provided by the NYPD, and the absence of supervision by senior officers also contributed to Mr. Gurley’s death.”
“Though we sympathize with Officer Liang’s family, he should still be held accountable. We strongly encourage the Court to carefully consider Officer Liang’s culpability at the time the weapon was discharged in determining his sentence,” continued Moe-Kaiser. “At its core, this case is about seeking justice in an unjust system, one that has continually marginalized black lives and pitted communities of color against each other. We cannot allow this case to become a racial wedge issue hindering communities of color from collectively bringing about meaningful criminal justice reform. All officers must be held accountable for their actions, regardless of their race. In order to accomplish this, OCA calls upon all states to work with the Department of Justice to create independent offices that investigate instances of police misconduct, excessive use of force, and shootings. The United States is a nation established on the rule of law, and it is time we ensure that those laws apply equally and equitably to everyone.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).