Tens of thousands of people rallied Saturday in more than 30 American cities to protest the conviction of Peter Liang, a former New York police officer of Chinese descent.
In an effort to show solidarity, a large number of protesters, mostly Chinese Americans, joined demonstrations in cities around the nation from Washington D.C. and New York City to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
At the Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn, New York, 10,000-strong protestors from all over the metropolitan area converged with placards and banners in hands, chanting slogans like “tragedy, not crime,” “equal justice for all” and “accident is not a felony.”
The organizer of the New York protest, the Coalition of Asian-Americans for Civil Rights, said that what actually happened was a tragic accident that claimed two victims, Peter Liang and African American Akai Gurley, but Liang was unfairly made a sacrifice to ease the ever-intensifying friction between the police force and the Black communities all around the country.
In Washington D.C., hundreds of protesters on Saturday rallied around the Northeast Quadrant of the Washington Monument to support Liang. Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco also saw similar protests.
A ricocheted bullet from Liang’s service weapon accidentally killed Gurley, an unarmed civilian, when the former New York police officer was patrolling in a housing project in the borough of Brooklyn in late November in 2014.
Liang was found guilty of the killing of Gurley and convicted of second-degree manslaughter by a jury on Feb. 11.