To Whom It May Concern:
The Committee of 100 submits the following comment on Privacy Act: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of Homeland Security/ALL–038 Insider Threat Program System of Records, Docket Number DHS-2015-0050:
The Privacy Act was enacted to safeguard against misuse and abuse of information and data about an individual collected by the government. DHS proposes major, extensive exemptions from the Privacy Act under the National Insider Threat Program, including avoidance of accounting for disclosure, denial of an individual from accessing his or her own records, and collection and retention of information about an individual regardless of relevancy or accuracy and without notification.
The Committee of 100 strongly supports law enforcement in general, and has done so in the past. There is a singular concern in this instance that the DHS proposal is too broad and should reflect a needed protection or assurance about the importance of protection of innocent individuals who may be caught up in DHS’ activities and processes.
Historically in our country, Asian Americans have been subjected to incredible discrimination including the Chinese Exclusion Act. Again, during the Second World War, individual census data was used to identify, collect and intern Japanese Americans although such disclosure was prohibited by law. In more recent times, an overzealous desire to protect American properties has overstepped legal boundaries. A Chinese American federal contractor was prosecuted by a biased investigation, which ultimately led to the presiding federal judge apologizing for the inappropriate prosecution and treatment at the end of the trial. Another Chinese American federal employee was wrongfully accused by an unreliable source based on the former’s national origin; serious damage had already been inflicted on the individual by the time the government dismissed her case. These matters shattered dreams, and destroyed careers, lives, and financial security.
Today, hundreds of thousands of Asian Americans serve our nation loyally and honorably as federal employees and contractors. The DHS proposal, as it stands, increases the risk that innocent individuals will be falsely accused in secret due to misunderstanding, prejudice, or
bigotry, and subject to unjust and damaging investigations and prosecutions with no recourse.
Therefore, the Committee of 100 recommends that the DHS proposal be modified to allow, at a minimum, for:
An individual to be allowed to review at least a summary of his or her security file upon request;
An individual, upon investigation or when accused of wrongdoing, to be allowed full access to his or her security file as part of due process;
Irrelevant and inaccurate information to be purged from the individual’s records when their status is clear;
Publicly available statistical summaries to be produced to track and monitor the status and trends of the collection and use of information;
Third-party monitoring to be established to review regularly the inherent policies and practices related to the program.
Thank you for considering our comments.
Download PDF: http://www.pavatar.us/Documents/C-100Comment20160324.pdf
Link to the Proposed Rule document: https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DHS_FRDOC_0001-1439
Jurors expressed shock and dismay Friday over Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson’s recommendation of a no-jail sentence for the ex-NYPD cop who killed Akai Gurley.
“What was the point of prosecuting him?” asked a 62-year-old juror who requested anonymity. “What did we do this for?”
“I agree he doesn’t deserve tremendous time,” the juror added, “but if something is wrong, you shouldn’t get a slap on the wrist.”
Former Officer Peter Liang faces up to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of manslaughter in the November 2014 slaying of Gurley, 28.
The unarmed father was mortally wounded when a bullet fired by Liang ricocheted into his chest inside a darkened stairwell at the Pink Houses in East New York.
Thompson has been under attack from Gurley’s loved ones and supporters since he sent a letter to the sentencing judge recommending Liang perform 500 hours of community service, five years’ probation and home confinement for six months.
“Wow. Is this right?” a stunned second juror said after being told about the letter by a Daily News reporter.
The 62-year-old juror noted that his own father served more than seven years in prison for accidentally shooting a friend.
“You cannot put away the average person’s thoughts here just because they are police officers,” the juror said. “They deserve to be prosecuted and sentenced just like everyone else who has the same background or committed the same crime.”
The Brooklyn resident said he believes Thompson was swayed by pressure from the Asian community, which vigorously protested the charges brought against Liang.
“I think the Asian community played a lot with the DA’s decision and got to him,” the juror said.
But not all of the jurors had harsh words for Thompson.
“He is doing his job and I can’t question him,” said Carlton Screen, 69, the only African-American among the 12-person panel. “That’s how he felt and he is doing what he needs to do as a man in the position, the district attorney.”
The jurors spoke out a day after a remorseful Liang offered a face-to-face apology to Kimberly Ballinger, the mother of Gurley’s 3-year-old daughter Akaila.
Liang is slated to be sentenced on April 14.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton praised Thompson for his “courage” in urging the judge to spare Liang a prison sentence.
“Thompson has a right to make these recommendations,” Bratton said on 1010 WINS radio.
“He is intimate with all the circumstances in this case and I applaud him for making this decision.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson is recommending no jail time and six months house arrest for former NYPD officer Peter Liang in the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley.
Liang was convicted of manslaughter last month for killing Gurley while on a vertical patrol in a stairwell at the Pink Houses in 2014. He faces up to 15 years in prison, but a statement released by Thompson says justice would best be served with a mixture of house arrest, probation and community service.
Here is the full text of Thompson’s statement:
“Peter Liang was indicted, prosecuted and subsequently convicted by a jury because his reckless actions caused an innocent man to lose his life. There is no evidence, however, that he intended to kill or injure Akai Gurley. When Mr. Liang went into that building that night, he did so as part of his job and to keep the people of Brooklyn and our city safe.
“In sentencing a defendant, the facts of the crime and the particular characteristics of that person must be considered. Mr. Liang has no prior criminal history and poses no future threat to public safety. Because his incarceration is not necessary to protect the public, and due to the unique circumstances of this case, a prison sentence is not warranted.
“Justice will be best served if Mr. Liang is sentenced to five years of probation, with the condition that he serves six months of home confinement with electric monitoring and performs 500 hours of community service. I have provided this sentencing recommendation to Justice Chun.
“As I have said before, there are no winners here. But the sentence that I have requested is just and fair under the circumstances of this case. From the beginning, this tragic case has always been about justice and not about revenge.”
Prosecutors portrayed the rookie police officer as a coward who fired his weapon into a darkened stairwell after he became startled. The bullet ricocheted off the wall and killed Gurley, an innocent, unarmed man simply taking the stairs. The defense insisted he fired by mistake and that Liang was wracked with remorse.
Following the DA’s announcement Wednesday, Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch released a statement, saying, “Police officers are human being and as such can make mistakes while risking their lives to protect the community. Criminalizing a mistake, even a tragic accidental discharge like this, serves no good purpose. The reasons cited by the DA for justifying no jail time in this tragedy are the very same reasons that the officer should not have been indicted in the first place.”
The shooting happened in a year of debate nationwide about police killings of black men, and activists have looked to Liang’s trial as a counterweight to cases in which grand juries have declined to indict officers, including the cases of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. Like Gurley, Brown and Garner were black and unarmed.
The verdict came after two full days of deliberations. Sentencing is scheduled for April 14.
初选 (General Primary) 04/26/2016 （登记截止日3/28/2016）
大选(General Election) 11/08/2016 （登记截止日10/11/2016）
一 选民 登记：
也可以下载登记表， 打印， 填写，然后给您的县（county) 寄去： https://www.pavoterservices.state.pa.us/Pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx#
初选 (General Primary) 04/26/2016 （登记截止日3/28/2016）
大选(General Election) 11/08/2016 （登记截止日10/11/2016）
如果您预期选举日您因为出差，休假或其它如宗教原因，无法亲自投票， 您可以申请缺席投票（Absentee Ballot), 详细介绍如下：
3）如果这是您的第一次参加投票， 您需要出示批准的有效证件。 批准的有效证件如下：
Today during casual conversations my 9 year old son and his best friend told me this event. Two weeks ago another friend (white, let’s call him Fred) made a rap song and shared with those boys in his small circle (2 out of 5 are minorities but no blacks). The song went like this: “black people suck, they suck less than a buck, they suck, suck, suck….” The rap shocked those boys and they scolded Fred for racism and made him stop. This incident touched a sensitive nerve of mine, so that I probed my son and his friend for more intelligence. I know Fred pretty well. He is nice to his friends and respectful to adults. Fred has some anger issues so that he took out from certain kids including his younger brother. In the same week the only black boy at 3rd grade was suspended for two weeks as a result of repeated kicking of another boy on his private part. Therefore Fred made the rap to bash the blacks in general. Apparently he made himself a fool and received scolding from his friends.
I immediately thought of the Peter Liang case. The black boy made a mistake and had been penalized with suspension. He should not be further penalized by receiving the outrageous rap. The black boy was spared from undue penalty by his friends which were properly taught by the school system. The difference in Liang’s case is he was not as lucky due to a corrupt system, the NYC government. The different treatments the black boy and Liang received amplify the importance of good systems. Bad systems make much harder to prevent damages to the societies and the people in them. Many schools are good but not flawless and people are not perfect. We may all be Fred or victimized by Fred once in a while. In those less than desirable situations minorities are usually more vulnerable. We all want our kids to have fun and prosper at school. I summarized the following ideas for young minority students and their parents to consider.
1. Assimilation is a powerful tool. Usually kids don’t have English issues. They may need to become culturally closer to the mainstream. Team sports or other group activities are effective means to help them blend into the environments different from their families. Kids are usually keen on what they need to do to be included. Immigrant parents lack of school experience at USA may need to pay extra attention to their kids behaviors and requests. Listen to your kids.
2. Make efforts to influence the systems. Decent US schools have high standards of fair play rules and little tolerance on bully. At school kids need to learn and practice how to raise attention and work with the authorities such as the teachers to seek protection or fairness.
3. Create alliances with other minority students. Recognize other Chinese, Indians or blacks can be your allies on certain issues. If seeing unfairness to other minorities, you should help them. That is good for you as well. My son’s grade there are less than 10% non-white students. I asked him to try to become acquainted with those minority students. At times they may need to unite for larger impact.
4. Make friends in general. Friends make each other happy and help each other out. The fact you have friends shields you from being picked on by bullies.
5. Know your status as a minority,. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and find your unique paths to your goals. Not every Chinese kids like to stay quiet and like only math and science. The Chinese kids are just as diverse as other races.
Lastly I think we should teach our young kids how to live happy and fulfilling lives. Everybody just gets to live once, and this is one of the few things that are absolutely fair regardless of race, gender or the family you are born into.
As one of the organizers of the Peter Liang rally in Philadelphia, I have to say I strongly disagree with your overall opinions on those rallies in 43 cities across the nation. As a Chinese American, I hate to tell you I am disappointed that you, a top university educated Asian descendent, unfortunately misconstrued the rallies and our pledges. Furthermore, your article is spreading the wrong messages and bringing more misinterpretation to the general public. I ask you to stop, listen to me, and think again for yourself.
You wrote “both black and white activists misconstrue Asian activists as protesting Liang’s conviction. What they are really protesting is the fact that so many white cops before Liang got away with the same crime scot-free.” You may believe you have possessed the insider’s viewpoints on these protests as an Asian descendent. Unfortunately I have to tell you, you can’t be more wrong! The black and white activists are correct. We are protesting Liang’s conviction. We are protesting the NYPD’s bureaucracy which has created two victims, Gurley and Liang. We intend to stop this bureaucracy further victimizing Liang by over-penalizing him with a conviction disproportional to his misconduct. Based on your article I had to guess you really knew little about the depths and magnitude of these rallies and our pledges. Please spare yourself five minutes to watch some YouTube videos on those rallies. I doubt you would find substances to support your claims. Could you possibly have misjudged your fellow Asian protesters?
You stated people went on protests “wasn’t because the verdict was unjust. They were angry because so many white police officers involved in fatal shootings before him were let off. Liang,” Again, you are wrong! We are protesting because the conviction was unjust! We don’t believe Liang’s conviction of 2nd degree manslaughter fits the facts of a misfired bullet bouncing off a wall and accidentally hitting Mr. Gurley in the dark. More evidences have surfaced with regards to the accidental and tragic nature of Mr Gurley ‘s death, and the political undercurrent of the subsequent conviction. Those new findings have cast serious doubt on various aspects of this conviction including mishandled court hearings. Questions for you, in your idealist mindset, have you ever wondered why a then 26-year old, only several years senior of you, who may not be as privileged to enter a top university, got convicted for reckless 2nd degree manslaughter from a gun accident in NYC, where NO police officers have been convicted in line-of-duty shooting deaths for over a decade? Have you ever wondered why the NY Police Union did not spare him a top attorney, as the Union had previously done in similar incidents, as many other police unions in the country may have done? Have you ever wondered what life and death really meant to two rookie cops while patrolling at night in NYC house projects which at times can be war-zone like, and near where two police officers were killed in execution style in 2014? Have you ever wondered why NYPD had two rookie officers without adequate training patrolling in those highly dangerous areas? Aren’t you suspiciouu? Had you thought through those facts, I doubt you would have stated “Liang is facing up to 15 years in prison, and rightfully so…for a police officer in a tense situation — especially in New York City — there is no room for panic”.
I trust you would do more research on this tragedy, rethink your opinions, and take corrective actions. If you need info, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate you have properly acknowledged a few good things of those protests such as breaking away from being the silent minority. Thank you.
I recently dug up this 2014 TED talk by Asian American author, civic educator and politics commentator Eric Liu. In this talk, Mr. Liu put forth the simple but often overlooked idea that the power of individual citizens are best realized at the local level, in the arena of the city. Mr. Liu was President Clinton’s speechwriter so of course his own talk is very engaging. I was reminded of Mr. Liu’s work by Wen’s recent essay urging Asian Americans to engage in local public service and politics.
A few days ago, a group of community volunteers started the Philadelphia Tri-State Chinese American Association. The mission of this nonprofit organization is to encourage and support Chinese Americans in local public service and politics. I think this is a wonderful and timely act.
Also by the way, here is a whimsical quiz written by Eric Liu to see how much political power YOU have:
(Not to be taken too seriously.)