Akai Gurley killed, New York policeman convicted

This video from the USA is called Video Shows Akai Gurley‘s Bloody Clothes in the Dim Hallway He Was Shot In.

From the Huffington Post in the USA:

NYC Cop Convicted Of Manslaughter In Death Of Akai Gurley

Officer Peter Liang fired in a dark housing complex stairwell.

02/11/2016 07:35 pm ET | Updated 14 minutes ago

Matt Ferner, National Reporter, The Huffington Post

New York City police Officer Peter Liang was convicted of manslaughter Thursday in the 2014 shooting death of an unarmed black man in a darkened Brooklyn public housing project stairwell.

Liang’s single gunshot killed Akai Gurley, 28, who was walking down the stairs on Nov. 20, 2014.

NYPD said after the jury’s verdict that Liang had been fired from the department. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 14.

Liang said he drew his pistol as he and his partner patrolled the darkened 8th floor stairwell of the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn. He said he flinched when he was startled by a noise, which he said caused the gun to fire.

The bullet ricocheted off of the stairwell wall and struck Gurley, who was on the seventh floor. Gurley, who was unarmed, died from a wound in his chest.

Liang tearfully recounted the shooting in court, claiming his finger was never on the trigger.

“I was panicking. I was in shock, in disbelief that someone was actually hit,” he told jurors.

Prosecution evidence contradicted the claim and showed pressure had to have been applied to the trigger in order for the weapon to fire. To test this notion, the judge allowed each of the 12 jurors to take turns pulling the trigger of Liang’s handgun. 

Liang and his partner testified they didn’t realize anyone had been shot for several minutes and said they didn’t try to perform CPR on Gurley because they felt untrained.

Gurley’s family was unmoved by the rookie’s tears.

“Peter Liang, my son was no accident,” Sylvia Palmer, the victim’s mother, said Monday. “You murdered my son. I need justice for my son. I need a conviction of Peter Liang.”

Convictions of police officers involved in shootings are exceedingly rare. The last time an NYPD officer was convicted in a shooting death of a civilian was 2005, when Bryan Conroy was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in the killing of Ousman Zongo, an unarmed African immigrant. 

Sanctions for the use of lethal force are also rare. A 2014 New York Daily News investigation found that out of the 179 people killed by on-duty police officers during 15 years, just three of those deaths resulted in indictments.

See also here.

Brooklyn district attorney Ken Thompson has decided to seek no prison time for the police officer convicted of killing 28-year-old Akai Gurley in the stairwell of his Brooklyn housing development in November, 2014: here.

3 thoughts on “Akai Gurley killed, New York policeman convicted

  1. I am deeply dismayed to share that former New York City Police Officer Peter Liang has received no jail time for the killing of Akai Gurley, an unarmed African American man. Instead, Judge Danny Chun reduced Mr. Liang’s charge and sentenced him to five years of probation and 800 hours of community service, largely keeping with the recommendation by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

    Mr. Liang shot and killed Mr. Gurley in the stairwell of the Louis H. Pink Houses public housing complex in Brooklyn on November 21, 2014. Despite the absence of any danger or justifiably perceived threat, Mr. Liang and his partner entered Mr. Gurley’s public housing building on a “vertical patrol” with their guns drawn.

    Mr. Liang’s sentence sends a troubling message that police officers convicted of killing unarmed African Americans will continue to be held to a different, and more lenient, standard of justice than everyone else involved in the criminal justice system.

    This decision compromises the perception of fairness and independence that is vital to improving public confidence in the justice system. Here, the jury did its job, but Mr. Gurley and his family were failed by the prosecutorial and judicial components of the justice system.

    I urge you to join us in protesting this decision by signing our pledge to end police brutality now.

    Mr. Gurley was an innocent man who was killed for standing in a stairwell. His death is an urgent reminder of the need for systemic police reform – in New York City and across the nation.

    With you in struggle,

    Sherrilyn A. Ifill

    President and Director-Counsel


  2. Pingback: New York police top brass suspected of corruption | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Muslim woman murdered in New York, hate crime? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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