Peter Liang’s sentencing is set for April 14th, however, today the Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson issued a statement that he does not recommend prison time for Liang. This may come as a victory for the protesters, particularly in NYC’s Chinese community, who feel like the conviction was racially-biased and scapegoated Liang at time the police force is under scrutiny for police brutality and misconduct against members of the black community.
At the time of writing, the family of Akai Gurley, the man whose life was taken by Liang, has not responded to the announcement. The light sentence seems to strip away the apparent justice and relief that came with Liang’s conviction.
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) March 23, 2016
Ken Thompson’s press release recommends five years of probation and six months of home confinement, during which Liang will be monitored electronically and expected to perform 500 hours of community service.
Liang is the former rookie NYPD officer who was found guilty of manslaughter and officially misconduct when he accidentally discharged his service weapon into a stairwell in the Pink Houses, a Brooklyn housing project, which killed a bystander in the stairwell, Akai Gurley in December 2014.
The maximum sentence for the crimes Liang was convicted of is 15 years.
Full Statement from Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson Regarding the Upcoming Sentencing of Peter Liang
“Peter Liang was indicted, prosecuted and subsequently convicted by a jury because his reckless actions caused an innocent man to lose his life. There is no evidence, however, that he intended to kill or injure Akai Gurley. When Mr. Liang went into that building that night, he did so as part of his job and to keep the people of Brooklyn and our city safe.
In sentencing a defendant, the facts of the crime and the particular characteristics of that person must be considered. Mr. Liang has no prior criminal history and poses no future threat to public safety. Because his incarceration is not necessary to protect the public, and due to the unique circumstances of this case, a prison sentence is not warranted.
Justice will be best served if Mr. Liang is sentenced to five years of probation, with the condition that he serves six months of home confinement with electric monitoring and performs 500 hours of community service. I have provided this sentencing recommendation to Justice Chun.
As I have said before, there are no winners here. 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.”