Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I don't know why this cop killing hit me particularly hard. Then again, I do. I was sure Officer Peter Liang was going to jail for doing a lot less than his white peers have done.  And then I felt betrayed when Akai Gurley's cop killer didn't go to jail at all.

I don't know if  you remember the entire Akai Gurley story, since there have been so many shootings of unarmed black people. But this shooting read more like extreme negligence and bad luck than the usual execution.

A loud sound startled a rookie cop and the bullet ricocheted and killed Akai Gurley. I read an article that said Liang wasn't supposed to have his finger on the trigger in the first place in order to prevent the very thing that happened.

In February of 2015, a grand jury decided Peter Liang should be indicted.
After the indictment I heard that the maximum sentence was 15 years. Some thought maybe the sentence was too harsh. I thought maybe I agreed with this sentiment. But I didn't think about it too hard.

Then, later, I thought some more. Cops only seem to have these sorts of accidents around dark-skinned people.

When I saw that Peter Liang was Asian, a person of color, I understood how he wound up inside the legal system when so many white and white looking others of the cop persuasion just walked away after killing black and brown people 

I assumed Liang would be found guilty by the jury because he's not white. And he was.

A jury found Peter Liang guilty of manslaughter.

To tell you the truth, I wasn't really paying attention to this particular case because I thought it was a done deal. When I overheard things about the jury verdict in passing, I figured the jury must have seen something that convinced them that Liang's level of negligence was somewhere way beyond accident and that he should be punished. And I probably even hoped he wouldn't get the full fifteen years. He looked too young to me. I couldn't quite hope for the full 15 years --even if he was extremely negligent.  I stopped thinking about it before I came to any real conclusion. 

I don't know how light I expected the sentence to be. But I did not expect the sentence could be zero years in jail.


I know the judges have been letting white and white-looking cops walk after committing execution style murders. But I was shocked at this sentence after finally getting a conviction. And, for whatever reason, I was even more surprised when I read this: 

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun not only sentenced Liang to probation, but also reduced his conviction from manslaughter to criminally negligent homicide.

Did you know that a judge had the power to do this? I didn't. Did you already know that
- A grand jury can indict a person

 - A jury, a new, different group of citizens, can find that same person guilty and then

 - A judge can come along and erase everything the grand jury and regular jury did?

Did you know that?  I thought our injustice departments had to fake out the grand jury and the jury-jury long before there's a verdict.  I thought they had to do that in every single state in the nation.

Did Chun's changing the charge to criminally negligent homicide mean the judge couldn't just nullify the jury's decision with the charge as it was? Chun first had to change the charge after two juries, the grand and the non-grand, said what should be done?

One jury, the grand jury said, maybe it wasn't an accident, so investigate it and go to trial. The second jury said it definitely wasn't an accident and found him guilty. And then the judge comes along and essentially says, 

'This whole thing was just an accident because I said so.'

So somebody tell me why the hell am I going to jury duty at all? If the judge can just do what he wants, why are we pretending we have a justice system where a jury of your peers (or non-peers) makes a judgement about what should pass as justice? Why are we bothering with this charade?  

One of the worst things about this is version of black-lives-aren't-worth-sh*t parade is that the D.A., the prosecutor is the one that recommended that Liang get no jail time, the person that is supposed to be protecting us from Liang is protecting Liang as if he's the second defense attorney. And this representative of leading edge of white supremacy in the D.A.s office is reportedly black.

D.A. Kenneth Johnson can be voted out of a job. That's been done twice this year already. I think the people of New York ought call Chicago and Cleveland and find out how they got rid of their lowlife district attorneys. But I need to get better acquainted with lower level politics, because I want to know how we get rid of judges like Danny Chun too. He is not the first judge to just disregard everything and everybody and do whatever the hell he feels like doing.

We've got to figure out what the next step is.

If Hillary or Bernie want me to be enthusiastic about either of them, they better say something about this. But I'm not holding my breathe.    

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