Akai Gurley: Black Lives Don't Matter to Killer Cop, a Prosecutor and Judge

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Was judge Chun influenced by pr campaign?

Akai Gurley was killed three times: by the NYPD officer who shot him dead; by the prosecutor who recommended post conviction that he not serve jail time; and by the judge who reduced the charges and granted the officer liberty.
It would have been less painful for Gurley's family had Peter Laing, the officer who killed him, never been prosecuted.
Yet the travesty has exposed the system and the racist animus African Americans face to the whole world.
The chilling decision by Judge Danny Chun to downgrade the second-degree manslaughter charge of Officer Liang, for the 2014 killing of 28-year-old Gurley to criminally negligent homicide has sparked righteous rage against this judge—and against Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson.
Judge Chun, following the lead of Mr. Thompson who requested no prison time, decided Liang should not even face house arrest.
Was the judge, also Asian, influenced by the mammoth public relations and media campaign launched by Asian organizations pleading that Liang face no jail time?
This judgment proves that Black lives just don’t matter to America’s so-called “justice” system.
This horrendous decision has been rightly denounced by several members of the City Council.
“The life of a Black man was valued less than that of a cat or dog,” said New York Councilwoman Inez Barron, whose district includes the Pink Houses, where Gurley was killed, in Brooklyn. “Peter Liang took a life. He should now lose his liberty.”
Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams spoke about the lack of accountability in this decision and the precedent it sets.
“I believe what D.A. Thompson did was wrong. It set a precedent saying this person should not be held accountable,” said Mr. Williams. “No jail sends a terrible message to Black people across this city and, indeed, across the country.”
Bronx Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson pointed out that regardless of whether or not the shooting was intentional the loss of a life requires some kind of jail time.
“Recognizing, while it was not intentional, your actions cause a death of someone who was completely innocent,” Ms. Gibson said. “I would have thought the D.A. would have recommended some level of jail time, and the judge would have upheld that.”Queens Councilman Donovan Richards compared the case to that of Giants wide-receiver Plaxico Burress who was sentenced to two years—for accidentally shooting himself.
“I remember a Giants player shot himself and go two years in jail. Here we have a young man who was killed unarmed in our city, and the officer is not facing any justice,” Richards said. “It’s a shame this young man’s life was not valued.”
Regardless of how you slice it the lack of value for Akai Gurley’s life is the main reason why this unjust judgment was rendered. Gurley real misfortune was that his Black skin rendered his life less worthy—and that is arguably why Officer Liang decided to call his PBA rep instead of trying to mitigate the damage he caused by shooting Gurley.
Officer Liang’s behavior before his shooting of Gurley illustrates the disregard police have for Blacks. Why was Liang’s gun drawn in the first place? What was the danger? A “dimly lit stairwell,” or, policing in a Black neighborhood? Here the shooting of Timothy Stansbury who was killed Officer Richard Neri comes to mind.
Ever since the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, many segments of White America—and some in Black America—have tried to demonize this group and their theme.
Some, have echoed former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a so-called “progressive,” who when challenged by Black Lives Mattter activists, during the last Netroots Nation conference, said “all lives matter.” Unfortunately, those who say this chose to ignore the ignoble history of racism and White supremacy that still plagues this country and its police departments.
Around the same time, it also became fashionable for those apologists of police to proclaim “Blue Lives Matter,” as if somehow the lives of police are not deemed valuable by this society. Of course the real truth is the opposite. Consider this: if Officer Liang was the one to have been accidentally shot, in a similar manner, by any law-abiding Black man, would that Black man receive such a sentence?
Whenever anyone kills a police officer—especially, if intentional—that person receives the maximum sentence allowed by the law of that jurisdiction. The book is thrown at them. Yet, police apologists, who find every excuse under the sun to rationalize the racist actions of those police who target Black people for abuse, repeatedly make the argument that police are somehow victims of something.
For the last two years, we’ve heard, and seen, outrage after outrage of police abuse and misconduct against Black people. Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice are but a few of the victims who have died because of the racist abuses of police in America during this time. Also, we have seen police officers abusing little girls on video in schools and at pool parties.
Given all we’ve seen the question we should ask is: why aren’t political leaders—especially, those in Congress—doing anything to demand real change in the way Black people are policed? Does anyone think we would have this kind of inaction if White people were being abuse in this way by police? We should realize what this political and congressional silence here tells us: these politicians—and more importantly, those who line their pockets— approve of the brutality and murder that is being committed against Blacks by their White police officers.
Let’s here examine the case of 37-year-old Elliott Williams who in died in an Oklahoma jail in 2011—since the jail footage which has now gone viral shows how this man was left lying on the floor for five days while he suffered a slow agonizing death.
Mr. Williams, an Army veteran, admittedly had mental problems and seems to have had a mental breakdown—probably due to the fact that his wife may have been leaving him—at a Marriott Hotel, where he was with his parents.
Despite the fact that Williams was in a mental state at the time the only crime he may have been guilty of was misdemeanor obstruction. Yet, this Army vet ended up with a broken neck—in an eerily reminiscent manner of the Freddie Gray case—and was then taken to a Oklahoma jail where he was left on a cold concrete floor for five days before he died.
The video shows police—and their medical personnel—doing nothing to help this veteran, even though he was screaming for help and needed to be taken to a hospital. Reportedly, both police and medical staff accused Williams of “faking” his injuries especially, when it should have been clear he couldn’t get up because he was paralyzed. They also taunted Williams and were throwing food at him—as if he was an animal in the zoo. We’ve all heard the supposed “patriotic” mantra telling us to “support the troops.” But the case of Elliott Williams is yet another example telling us those words are nothing but empty sloganeering. America doesn’t support White veterans, so should we be surprised that a Black veteran died this way in a police jail?
The awful truth is Black lives just don’t matter much in a White America that was built on Slavery and White supremacy. The Akai Gurley verdict makes that obvious. Everyday people go to prison for their actions that cause unintended injuries and death to others.
The only reason Officer Liang got a get-out-of-jail-free-card is because his actions caused the death of a Black person whose life isn’t valued much by an America that has devalued Black life from before the Constitution’s “three-fifths of a person” clause. If Liang had caused the death of some rich person on Park Avenue, Madison Avenue or on Wall Street he would surely be going to jail.

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