Rally for Equal Justice

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Subject: More than 300 San Diegans to Rally for Equal Justice on Saturday, February 20, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA, February 17, 2016 – San Diego Asian Americans for Equality will join other Asian American organizations from more than 40 cities to rally for equal justice for former NYPD Officer Peter Liang on Feb. 20. About 300 to 600 San Diegans will participate in the rally, to be held in front of the Bea Evenson Fountain at Balboa Park this Saturday between 11am and 12pm. Also present are Mr. Ray Ellis, San Diego City Council District 1 candidate, and Charles Merriman, campaign manager of Ms. Denise Gitsham, candidate for California’s 52nd Congressional District. ( Event Link: http://www.sdaafe.org/2016/02/15/rallyforpeterliang/)

Peter Liang, a former rookie New York Police Officer who graduated from the Police Academy a year ago, was convicted last Thursday of manslaughter to face up to 15 years in prison, for killing unarmed African American male Akai Gurley. While assigned with another rookie partner to do a vertical patrol of Louis H. Pink Houses, one of the most dangerous housing projects in Brooklyn, New York City, Liang accidentally discharged his gun upon entering an unlit stairwell on the eighth floor. The bullet ricocheted off the wall, hitting Mr. Gurley who was walking down on the seventh floor. Mr. Gurley and his girlfriend Melissa Butler ran down to the fifth floor to find Mr. Gurley shot through the chest. Unaware of Gurley’s injury at first, Mr. Liang was shocked by the accidental discharge, in tears in the eighth floor hallway. When having finally arrived on the fifth floor with his partner to see injured Mr. Gurley, Mr. Liang called for the dispatch but was incapable of performing the CPR. Mr. Gurley died later.

“We feel deeply sorry for Mr. Gurley and his family. But we also believe Mr. Liang was made a scapegoat by NYPD and the DA’s office through selective prosecution. There were 179 NYPD shooting incidents between 1999 and 2014, while only three police officers were indicted and one convicted. Mr. Liang has been used as a tool to ease the tension between the police and the African American community. There was no recklessness to be found in Mr. Liang’s case,” said Frank Xu, President of S an Diego Asian Americans for Equality.

“We also believe that NYPD need to be held accountable for irresponsible patrol assignments of rookie officers to extremely dangerous neighborhoods, insufficient basic training, and lack of support for probationary officers. Mr. Liang should not be used as a scapegoat for the tension between the police and African American communities,” added Xu.

Julia Yang, Secretary of San Diego Asian Americans for Equality, remarked, “We ask everyone to stand behind Akai Gurley and Peter Liang to say NO to political manipulation, selective prosecution, and scapegoating. Together we will overcome.”

San Diego Asian Americans for Equality is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to
empowering Asian Americans to win equal opportunity and justice through active participation in civic and public affairs in San Diego County. It is the only nonpartisan Asian American Political Action Committee in San Diego County with over 1700 subscribers.

Contact: Frank Xu, President of San Diego Asian Americans for Equality, 8582151162,  info@sdaafe.org
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