By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
Concern is growing among some that the upcoming sentencing of Peter Liang could increase tensions between Blacks and Asians.
A panel discussion on the topic has been scheduled for Monday morning at 8:30 at the New York City Bar Association.
It’s sponsored by the Asian American Business Development Center and 100 Black Men, Inc.
How you view Liang’s upcoming sentencing now scheduled for April 14 depends on how you view the incident.
On Wednesday, New York District Attorney Ken Thompson recommended that Liang should be sentenced to community service and six months of home detention. In other words, no jail time.
Those who see the death of Gurley as a horrible accident likely support Thompson’s sentencing recommendation.
“Often, those who win see no need for restraint,” said the statement provided to the Los Angeles Time from Liang’s defense attorneys Paul Shectman and Gabriel Chin. “That is what makes Dist. Atty. Thompson’s decision to recommend a non-jail sentence so exceptional.
“Although we disagree with Mr. Thompson on the fundamental issue of Peter’s culpability, he deserves praise for his dispassionate and courageous decision that incarceration is not called for in this case.”
Those who see Gurley’s death as part of a string of unjust police shootings against unarmed Black men likely are angered by Thompson’s recommendation.
“I call it a modern-day lynching,” Gurley’s aunt Hertencia Petersen said to the New York Daily News. “It’s like killing Akai over and over again.”
Still others, may see the prosecution of Liang for manslaughter coupled with the light sentence, as the right balance.
“As I have said before, there are no winners here,” Thompson said in a statement. “But the sentence that I have requested is just and fair under the circumstances of this case. From the beginning, this tragic case has always been about justice and not about revenge.”
The final decision on any sentence will be up to Judge Danny Chun. Liang faces maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
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