CAAAV, a grassroots community organization that fights for poor and working class Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City, has drafted a national open letter supporting justice for Akai Gurley and calling for Officer Peter Liang to be held accountable for Gurley's shooting death last November.
They're calling on APA organizations and individuals to stand with them and sign on to the letter to show that there is support in the Asian American community for #JusticeforAkaiGurley and for the broader national movement against police violence.
Here's the text of the open letter:
As Asian American community leaders and organizations from across the country, we strongly oppose calls coming from some members of the Asian American community to drop charges against NYPD Officer Peter Liang for the death of Akai Gurley.
This demand is misguided and utterly hurtful to Akai Gurley's family and to communities that have been subjected to discriminatory and often deadly policing practices across the country.
We stand with Akai Gurley's family and all those who have lost loved ones to police violence.
We firmly believe that Peter Liang must be held accountable for his actions.
The fact that Officer Liang is Asian American shouldn't mean that we as Asian Americans support him unequivocally. Quite the opposite — it should compel us to think about what justice looks like and how Asian Americans can contribute to the movement for police accountability and broader racial justice.
Police violence against Black communities is a systemic problem, and when police officers are not held accountable, they are enabled to kill with impunity. Without accountability for police officers who use deadly force and a complete and thorough overhaul of policing practices and other institutional policies in the U.S., we will have more Akai Gurleys and more Officer Liangs, more Mike Browns and Darren Wilsons, more Rekia Boyds and Dante Servins. This should be unacceptable to all of us, especially as many of our own community members, from South Asians post-9/11 to Southeast Asian communities, are also targeted by police departments across the country.
Our history shows us that when Asian communities work together in solidarity with Black communities, we all benefit. We also recognize that the Asian community in the US has historically benefited from Black-led movements for racial and economic justice.
There is broad support in the Asian American community for #JusticeforAkaiGurley and for the systemic overhaul of policing practices and other institutional policies that chronically defund and destabilize Black communities.
This is a flashpoint for the Asian American community. In this moment, we stand together to show support for Akai Gurley's family, other families who have lost loved ones due to police violence, as well as the broader police accountability movement.
For information, and to sign on, go here: #JusticeforAkaiGurley National Sign-On Letter