PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia was among 40 different cities today where thousands of Chinese-Americans gathered to protest the manslaughter conviction of Peter Liang, the former New York City cop who accidentally shot and killed a man on the job in 2014.

Liang was a rookie cop on patrol with another rookie cop in a dangerous part of Brooklyn. He accidentally fired one round that ricocheted off a wall in a dark stairwell and it killed Akai Gurley.

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“We would like to pledge for leniency,” said Nancy Zhang, who was among the many who helped organize the rallies. “He may be facing 15 years in prison, in a tragic accident.”

Protesters say the NYPD is to blame because Officer Liang should have been learning from a veteran cop.

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“We feel the trial was unfair, from the prosecutor to the whole system.”

Others think Liang was made a scapegoat for other police involved deaths that happened previously.

“It happened after those other…Michael Brown’s tragedy. It happened after Eric Garner’s tragedy, and those are very different events.”

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Chinese-Americans are asking for leniency ahead of Liang’s sentencing hearing in April.