On the Indictment of Peter Liang

my name is elizabeth

When I first see a picture of Peter Liang, the NYPD officer recently indicted for the shooting death of Akai Gurley, my reactions are all over the map.

… He looks so familiar. He’s 27; he could be one of my brother’s friends. One of my friends, even. He could be a family friend or someone from my church.

… His parents — probably immigrants like mine. Later, I learn that they’re a cook and a garment worker who moved with their son from Hong Kong to the US when he was a child, who speak very little English. They live in Bensonhurst, a working-class neighborhood that’s become Brooklyn’s second Chinatown.

They must be so sad.

… He’s a police officer. I’ve never known an Asian American cop. I’ve seen a few in California, where Asian Americans have lived for generations and have had more time to get involved in civic life…

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