Peter Liang and Mother Solicit Money to Hire a Lawyer


Peter Liang (left) joined by his mother and Karlin Chan (center), founder of the Chinese Action Network. (Photo by Mengzi Gao via World Journal)

Peter Liang (left) joined by his mother and Karlin Chan (center), founder of the Chinese Action Network, at a press conference in Chinatown. (Photo by Mengzi Gao via World Journal)

“My son shows familial piety and has been pursuing justice. We cannot allow an accident to destroy his life,” police officer Peter Liang’s mother said at a press conference on Nov. 9. Liang, who was charged with manslaughter and second degree assault after fatally shooting Akai Gurley [on Nov. 20, 2014],  an African-American man, appeared publicly in Chinatown at a press conference with his mother for the first time since the incident. Other than saying Liang is innocent and is sad for what happened, the duo also said Liang still owes student loans and cannot afford the legal costs. They asked the community for donations so they can hire a lawyer for Liang.

Liang, who had been shying away from the public, attended the press conference with his mother and Karlin Chan, founder of the Chinese Action Network. Almost a year has passed since the incident, but Liang still looked distressed.

Liang’s mother said Liang grew up in Chinatown and witnessed many robberies and burglaries in his childhood, including when it happened to his own family twice. So he had dreamt of becoming a police officer since he was 5. “I was not very supportive at the beginning because this is a life-threatening job,” his mother said. But Liang was persistent and eventually he fulfilled his dream.

Liang’s mother said she has never stopped worrying since her son joined the NYPD. She was appreciative every day when her son returned home safely. And she is also impressed by her son’s passion for his job and no longer tries to discourage him. “If being a police officer makes him happy, I am willing to support him,” she said. [Editor’s note: Following his indictment in February of 2015, Liang was suspended without pay from the NYPD.]

Mother's Day card given by Peter Liang to his mother. Peter Liang (left) joined by his mother and Karlin Chan (center), founder of the Chinese Action Network. (Photo by Mengzi Gao via World Journal)

Mother’s Day card given by Peter Liang to his mother. (Photo by Mengzi Gao via World Journal)

His mother said Liang respects and takes care of her very well. He sends cards to her on every holiday. Right after he became a police officer, he persuaded his mother to retire, and said he could make enough money to support the family. “He is a very kind person. Even after catching the bad guys, he treats them with politeness,” the mother said. And in her view a kind person like Liang couldn’t possibly have opened fire on Gurley intentionally. It was an accident.

“The day when it happened, Peter was so distressed that he almost fainted. His mood was so low that I was worried he might commit suicide,” the mother said. Some people even called her son a “murderer” to his face, making him more distressed. “My son is innocent. An accident shouldn’t destroy his whole life,” she said.

Liang’s mother said she worried the attorney hired by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association wouldn’t help her son wholeheartedly. So she decided to hire a personal lawyer for him. But she can’t afford it on her own. “I came to the U.S. from Macau 30 years ago, and have been working hard since then. I didn’t even take a day off after I delivered Peter. But we still don’t have much savings,” she said. She also said Liang still hasn’t paid back his student loan, and he cannot afford to hire a lawyer himself. “We really appreciate what the Chinese community has done for Peter. And we hope you can offer a hand on this matter, too,” she said.

Chan said he has taken Liang to meet a few lawyers, and the final decision is pending. The costs, he said, will be approximately $110,000. He encourages the Chinese community to make donations. Interested donors can go to for more information, or send a check payable to “Chinese Freemasons Peter Liang” to the following address:

Chinese Freemasons Peter Liang
44 Monroe Street A38
New York, NY 10002

Update (Nov. 20, 2015):   The Word Journal reports that Liang has hired Robert Brown, former Captain of the 5th precinct and Rae Koshetz, former deputy Chief of the NYPD as his lawyers, replacing
Stephen Worth, the lawyer hired for him by the PBA. Furthermore, The Chinese Action Network is no longer accepting donations for Peter Liang. Meanwhile, Liang has switched his fundraising account from the previous one
to an account newly set for him by the Brooklyn Asian Communities Empowerment (BRACE) and the Lin Sing Association at the First American International Bank under his own name. 
Those interested in donating are asked to contact the Lin Sing Association at 49 Mott St., second floor, in Chinatown, Manhattan. 

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