Peter Liang was a new police officer for the people of New York City. He had dreamed of being of service and was proud to serve. He may now go to jail for purely political reasons.
As a new cop (police officer), Liang was assigned to a very dangerous task (activity). There are numerous housing projects throughout New York City. These are tall and ugly buildings where poor people, primarily of color, live for free or for a very low fee. Some people live in 'the projects' their whole lives and politicians make no attempt to help them move out to better things or places.
These projects are among the most dangerous places in New York City. It is a disgrace that no serious effort has ever been made to eliminate them. So Bloomberg, you want to be president? What the hell did you do to get rid of the projects and help the poor in them move to better places? NOTHING. You did not do a damn thing. You are responsible for the death that occurred in one of them recently, not Peter Liang.
It was Peter Liang and his partner Shaun Landau's job to walk up a stairwell of one of New York City's most dangerous housing projects in Brooklyn. This housing project was so neglected by the city that there were NO LIGHTS in the stairwell. Furthermore, two cops who had this same type of job were shot and KILLED by residents of this type of housing project recently. The city throws cops into incredibly dangerous situations and blames them when things go wrong.
Liang and his partner were new cops and should NOT have been given such a dangerous assignment. They were rightfully scared. As they were moving through this dangerous stairwell they heard a sudden sound. Liang's gun went off and his bullet hit a wall before ricocheting and hitting a guy coming down the stairs.
The prosecutor (the lawyer for the state of New York), said Liang deliberately shot this man. By accidentally shooting at a wall? What? You went to law school to say something this crazy? That was a blatant lie. The prosecutor lied in court. The jury should have laughed at this type of ridiculous argument - instead they found Liang guilty of manslaughter. Manslaughter is when you kill a person because you are not careful. Then throw de Blasio in jail and the police commissioner because they put this inexperienced cop in harms' way! How careful was the city to put Liang in a situation he couldn't handle yet?
If you put anyone in that situation who is not an experienced cop, you are going to get the same results. It was NOT Liang's fault that this man died. It is a tragedy that the man died, but the heart of the tragedy lies in the fact that 1) we have these dangerous housing projects that nobody is trying to get rid of and 2) the most inexperienced cops are sent there. The city of New York and the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations are responsible for this man's death.
Peter Liang is a scapegoat. It disgusts me that a jury found him guilty.
Here is an article about this situation:
a scapegoat - an innocent person who gets blamed for a serious problem. There have been cases where black men in the USA have been killed by cops and the cops were not held accountable. Liang was found guilty to make up for this situation.
a cop - a police officer
a verdict - a decision of guilt or innocence
chilling - frightening
union head - the head of the police union...a union is an organization that represents a group of workers
blasted - strongly criticized
to hinder - to make something more difficult
bloodshed - when violence occurs causing people to bleed
Patrolman's Benevolent Association - the organization that represents police in NY City
vertical patrols - when police go up and down stairwells in housing projects trying to prevent crimes
fatally shot - shot to death
to brag - to be proud of something and to speak about it proudly
closure - an end of something