About 10,000 protesters, many of them Chinese-American, have rallied in New York in support of a former police officer convicted for fatally shooting an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell in a public housing building.
The protest in Brooklyn over ex-officer Peter Liang’s manslaughter conviction in the 2014 shooting of Akai Gurley was one of about 30 taking place around the US, organizers said.
About 2,000 people marched in Philadelphia, according to Philly.com, and about 150 gathered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, according to The Ann Arbor News.
“No scapegoat! No scapegoat!” protesters in New York shouted as the crowd descended on Cadman Plaza, just outside the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. They carried signs declaring Liang’s prosecution “selective justice.”
The 28-year-old Liang, who was fired immediately after a jury convicted him earlier this month, faces up to 15 years in prison.
He testified that the shooting was an accident, and that he fired his gun after being frightened by a noise.
Many of his supporters say they believe Liang is being scapegoated because of anger over other police shootings in New York and across the country and that he has been treated unfairly because he is Asian-American.
Prosecutors argued that Liang’s actions were reckless and he shouldn’t have had his gun out or his finger on the trigger. They also said he did nothing to help Gurley as he lay dying on the floor.