FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2016
New Asian Leaders calls for New York Assemblyman Charles Barron to stop Inciting Riots and Domestic Terrorism
910 17th Street NW 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20006
Media Contact: Dr. Larry H. Shinagawa
T: 954-233-0672 x 527
WASHINGTON, DC — New Asian Leaders (NAL), a non-profit Asian American leadership organization headquartered in Washington, DC, calls upon New York Assemblyman Charles Barron to stop inciting riots as a reaction to the upcoming sentencing of former NYPD officer Peter Liang by Justice Danny Chun of the State Supreme Court on April 19, 2016. Barron has recently warned of riots, stating that "violence is inevitable" if Peter Liang gets the no-jail sentence recommended by Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.
The assemblyman has threatened that the community will shut the city down and that they might bring Ferguson to New York City. Barron goes on to say, "That is why I continue to say; when peaceful means for justice are ignored, violence is inevitable! Don't blame me the social-forecaster for predicting social uprising when this system refuses to value black lives and refuses to send police officers to prison that abuse the use of deadly force."
New Asian Leaders believes strongly that there is no place in American society to incite violence toward anyone. Inciting violence targeting particular groups or communities is a form of domestic terrorism. We believe that when injustices are perceived or experienced, then civil means should be taken to right wrongs, reflecting what we learned half a century ago during the Civil Rights Movement. We firmly believe that Akai Gurley, the victim of the accidental shooting by former NYPD Peter Liang, as well as the officer himself should both be seen as victims of an unfair and unequal system of justice. We agree with many that NYC should take further steps toward police accountability and oversight, and that effective measures should be taken to improve officer training and improve police procedures. However, we disagree that riots or domestic terrorism should ever be condoned or even recommended.
"Assemblyman Barron is wrong in suggesting and calling for riots in New York City. During the LA Riots of the early 1990s, many hundreds of people were hurt and killed. LA Koreatown and other adjoining neighborhoods were devastated, with stores that were looted and burned down, and with many community members shot, injured, and murdered, including many rioters shot by Korean store owners. Yet, the violence was largely directed against those that had nothing to do with the underlying causes of injustice. We do not want to see a replay of such tragedies. We call upon Assemblyman Barron to retract his words and work with all communities toward peaceful forms of reform and social change," said Cliff Zhonggang Li, Executive Director of NAL.
We demand that the Mayor, NYC Administration, and its Police Department take proactive steps to ensure the safety of Asian Americans and other New York City residents before, during, and after the sentencing that happens on April 19th. Violence only begets violence, and the cycle must be broken by vigilance and by rightful peaceful civil action. We also call upon the Asian American community to take steps necessary to avoid confrontation, take precautions against possible violence, and prepare for self-defense by necessary means to protect our families, our loved ones, and our communities. (Click here to add your comment)
***If you would like to schedule an interview with Mr. Cliff Zhonggang Li, Executive Director of New Asian Leaders, please call NAL direct at 954-233-0672 x 527 or email us at press@NewAsianLeaders.org. New Asian Leaders (NAL) is committed to encouraging Asian Americans to participate in the political process and to ensure the establishment of future leaders in the Asian American community.