"NYPD Officer Peter Liang found guilty of manslaughter in fatal shooting of Akai Gurley in Brooklyn housing development"
Upon reading this headline, I think, "yes -- finally, a police officer has been made to show accountability." Yet I also notice that the convicted officer is an Asian man, which stands out to me notably due to the visibility of Asian American people in American media. I can't help but recall a news story from shortly after Ferguson in 2014, announcing the deaths of Officer Liu and Ramos by someone depicted to be "a Black man with a hatred towards police officers." I wrote then that this event "runs alongside narratives that anti-police brutality protests killed Officer Liu and Ramos -- or in other words, that black people killed them. These images demonstrate the ways in which the media (a microcosm of white supremacy at large) further separates communities of color regarding issues of race. They attempt to further the division between Asian, Hispanic and Black communities, when we need to be working together as people of color."
The recent conviction of Officer Liang strikes a bitter resemblance. While he undoubtedly should face the consequences of his actions, I think that Liang's conviction is also a portrayal of white supremacy disguising its complicity through scapegoating an Asian man. Rather than have people pay attention to racism that is inherent within our institutions, white supremacy works to heighten a distrust between communities of color, especially when we question whether's Liang's race played a role in his conviction.
To my knowledge, the last few police officers who have been convicted for shootings have all been people of color, and I am curious about how many convicted officers are white (and why this information seems to pass me by, though it could just be by coincidence.) It is noteworthy that according to the NY Daily News, "[Liang] is the first NYPD cop to be convicted for a police-involved shooting in a decade."*
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm thankful for the justice that seems to have been served in this case, but I'm not forgetting about all the white cops who get off unscathed.
* emphasis is my own, article found here.