(Feb 25, 2015) For Immediate Release
Contact person: Frank Xu 858-215-1162 firstname.lastname@example.org
SDAAFE (San Diego Asian Americans For Equality) demands the common legal standard of “presumption of innocence until proven guilty” to be applied to the Peter Liang case. While our sympathy and condolences are with Mr. Akai Gurley and his family, we are deeply concerned that the pent-up pressure from other racially charged cases in New York and Ferguson, the grand standing of politicians with own agendas, and the media hysteria, are having an undue influence in the grand jury selection and the deliberation process, making NYPD Officer Peter Liang a scapegoat for larger issues in the country that he is not responsible for. A prosecution conducted under such an environment has potential for delivering vengeance rather than justice. If it happens, this tragic accident would further inflame racial tension, rather than solving deep-rooted social problems that upset many. We demand fairness and consistency in handling cases involving on-duty police officers who risk their own lives on a daily basis. The recent double murder of on-duty NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in New York City is a case in point.
SDAAFE is deeply troubled by the appearance of selective prosecution in this case involving a Chinese-American police officer, while other much stronger cases against Caucasian police officers got dismissed such as cases involving Officer Daniel Pantaleo or Officer Darren Wilson. The difference is so glaring that, during New York Times interview of the Pink House residents, Mr. Gregory Rosario, who grew up in this dangerous housing project where the Peter Liang shooting occurred, said “You think if the officer’s not a minority, he would get indicted? If he was Caucasian, he wouldn’t be indicted. In Eric Garner, they had everything on the table and they didn’t do anything. Here there’s no video, no proof, but they indicted him.”
Public confidence in our judicial process hinges upon fair and consistent application of the same rules and regulations governing police actions, regardless of race and ethnicity of the persons involved. SDAAFE will watch very closely the further development in this case.