No Justice for Akai Gurley—Another Killer Cop Walks!

by Carl Dix

April 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 20, 2014, Akai Gurley’s life was stolen by a killer cop. Peter Liang, the cop who gunned down Gurley on that day, was patrolling a housing project in Brooklyn with his gun drawn and his finger on the trigger. He entered an unlit stairway and pulled the trigger when he heard a sound in the dark, killing Gurley with a bullet to the heart. As Akai Gurley lay dying, Liang argued with the cop patrolling with him over which of them should call in the shooting and called his union rep to start working on how to escape punishment for what he’d done. Neither of the two cops gave any emergency medical assistance to Gurley.


Yet the system spared this killer cop jail time. Before the sentencing, Ken Thompson, the prosecutor who brought the case against Liang, wrote to the judge asking that Liang receive no jail time because “the incarceration of the defendant is not necessary to protect the public.” The judge presiding over the case pronounced a sentence of probation and community service. This judge even reduced the charge the cop was convicted of from manslaughter to a lesser charge because he felt the cop hadn’t entered the housing project thinking about killing anybody. This is an outrageous injustice!

This sentence of no jail time comes down to the system telling us that Akai Gurley’s life, and the lives of Black and Brown people targeted by police terror, don’t matter. That the whole system will go into motion to keep killer cops from going to jail no matter how murderous their actions. This sentence also tells us something about whether you can deal with police terror by electing new prosecutors. Ken Thompson’s election as the Brooklyn District Attorney in 2013 was hailed as a step toward reforming the criminal justice system because, unlike the previous DA, he would hold brutal, murdering cops accountable for their criminal deeds. Yet in this case he was part of letting a killer cop walk.

Bob Avakian spoke to why police get away with murdering Black people when he said: “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people.”

To everybody who is sick and tired of hearing about and seeing videos of police gunning people down, beating people to death, tasing them to death, choking them to death; who hates knowing that the killer cops will almost always walk free: THIS POLICE TERROR MUST STOP AND IT’S UP TO US TO STOP IT! Stopping it and all the horrors this system enforces on humanity—the attacks on women, the destruction of the environment, the attacks on immigrants, the wars for empire and more—will take revolution, nothing less. Get with the real revolution.



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