Twitter Reacts To Akai Gurley's Murderer's Five Year Probation Sentencing
With several of Akai Gurley‘s cousins, his aunt and mother in attendance, surrounded by hundreds of supporters — the courts ruled that Peter Liang will be sentenced to five years of probation and 800 hours of community service.
For those who are still with us, here are the details: New York Police Officer Peter Liang was found guilty of manslaughter and official misconduct after shooting Gurley inside the Pink Houses in East New York, Brooklyn. Unlike the other high-profile police shootings involving unarmed men, women and children — Liang and Gurley never actually saw each other as the former shot his gun in a dark hallway that pierced the latter’s heart.
At the trial in February, Liang was found guilty of manslaughter and official misconduct as he called his police union for advice instead of helping Gurley with medical attention. Outside the courthouse, a rally was happening as friends, family and protesters were awaiting the final verdict. “People need to face the facts and that my cousin is no longer here,” Akai’s cousin, Mesha Joseph, told ThinkProgress. “There’s a life that was lost and someone needs to be held meaningfully accountable.”
“While Liangs’s parents will still be able to visit their son in jail, Gurley’s mother has to visit a grave,” his aunt, Hertencia Petersen said. Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson advocated for jail time taken off the books due to the issue of “there [being] no evidence that he intended to kill or injure Gurley.” Even more interesting was that Thompson was absent from the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, allowing another prosecutor from his office to argue in his place, saying, “Peter Liang can’t be punished for the sins of others who can’t be held accountable for wrongdoing elsewhere.”
This case — in addition to others across the country — sparked demonstrative methods from the Black Lives Matter activist group, supporters of Gurley’s family and Asian American who believed Liang was being singled out because of his race. The day was full of protests, heavy emotions and community rallies as the Brooklyn Supreme Court served as ground zero for another attack on an unarmed individual of color.
Twitter, upset by the end of this sad tale, spoke out and shared its feelings about the five year probation + 800 hour community service sentencing on the popular social network. Read what they had to say in our slideshow above.