Judge Denies Peter Liang’s Request for a New Trial

By Kenrya Rankin Apr 15, 2016

It looks as if Peter Liang—the former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer who was found guilty of killing an unarmed Black man in 2014—will finally be sentenced. Yesterday (April 14), New York Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun denied his attorneys’ request for a new trial.

NBC News reports that Liang’s defense team failed to prove that one of the jurors lied to get on the jury when he said during selection that no one in his close family had been accused of a crime. They also unsuccessfully argued that the juror should have told the court about past Facebook posts that were critical of law enforcement.

Liang, who is Chinese-American, was convicted in February of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, criminally negligent homicide and official misconduct for firing into a stairwell and killing 28-year-old Akai Gurley, then failing to provide life saving support. His conviction sparked protests in Asian-American communities across the country, as supporters argued that he was being scapegoated for the NYPD’s poor relationship with people of color.

Liang is scheduled for sentencing on April 19. He could face up to 15 years in prison, though Brooklyn district attorney Ken Thompson recently recommended that Chun sentence him to six months of house arrest, 500 hours of community service and a five-year probation.