Image

1:57 PM / Saturday August 8, 2020

14 Feb 2015

NYC officer surrenders to face charges in fatal shooting

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
February 14, 2015 Category: Stateside Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Demonstrators chant as they prepare to march in protest of the shooting death of Akai Gurley by rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police have described Gurley’s death as an apparent accident. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

By Colleen Long

Associated Press

NEW YORK– A New York City police officer who fired into a darkened stairwell at a housing complex, killing a man who had been waiting for an elevator, surrendered Wednesday to face criminal charges.

The case was closely watched following the mass protests and calls for reform of the grand jury system after a New York City grand jury’s refusal to indict a white police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, and a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a white officer in the death of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was also unarmed.

The man killed in the stairwell, 28-year-old Akai Gurley, was black. The officer charged, Peter Liang, is Asian-American.

Liang, 27, was indicted by a grand jury in the November shooting, according to Scott Rynecki, an attorney representing Gurley’s family, and Liang’s union. It wasn’t clear what charges the grand jury considered; it could be a misdemeanor official misconduct count or manslaughter, a felony.

Image

Liang walked into a police station with his lawyer Wednesday and was expected in court later in the day.

Liang and his partner were patrolling a public housing development in Brooklyn’s gritty East New York neighborhood, on Nov. 20. The housing project, where Gurley was getting his hair braided by a friend, had been the scene of a recent shooting, robberies and assaults.

The officers had descended onto an eighth-floor landing when, 14 steps away, Gurley and the woman opened a door into the seventh-floor landing. The lights were burned out in the stairwell, leaving it “pitch black’’ and prompting both officers to use flashlights, police said after the shooting.

Liang, for reasons unclear, had his gun drawn, police said. He was about 10 feet from Gurley when, without a word and apparently by accident, he fired a shot, police said.

Gurley was struck in the chest.

Patrick J. Lynch, head of Liang’s union, said the officer, who has less than two years on the job, deserves due process.

“The fact that he was assigned to patrol one of the most dangerous housing projects in New York City must be considered among the circumstances of this tragic accident,’’ Lynch said.

Rynecki said the shooting was unjustified, regardless of whether it was intentional. Gurley’s domestic partner and mother of his toddler daughter filed a notice of claim that she was planning to sue the city in his death.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Sun Report

Pennsylvania to pay for mail-in ballot postage in election

August 7, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Mail-in primary election ballots are processed at the Chester County Voter...

Entertainment

Tamar Braxton pays tribute to boyfriend for ‘saving my life’

August 7, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Tamar Braxton (Photo: Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock) ASSOCIATED PRESS LOS...

Stateside

Oprah buys 26 billboards in Louisville, KY demanding justice for Breonna Taylor

August 8, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — First, Oprah Winfrey put Breonna Taylor on the cover...

Color Of Money

How do you prepare for the future when life is so uncertain now?

August 7, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to present health and economic challenges,...

Seniors

I thought shingles was an old person’s disease: What everyone 50+, needs to know about this disease

August 7, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Father, business owner and Rhode Island native Steve B. was forced to...

Go With The-Flo

Michael B. Jordan has teamed up with Color of Change to launch the #ChangeHollywood initiative

August 7, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Michael B. Jordan  (Photo: BAKOUNINE / Shutterstock) By Florence Anthony A...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff