Police “Accidentally” Pull out Gun and Open Fire on Totally Innocent Man, Executing Him in Front of His Girlfriend

akai

Daughter and girlfriend cry over the loss of Akai.

Update: April 19 2016

A former police officer who shot an unarmed man to death in a darkened stairwell was spared prison time Tuesday, and a judge reduced his manslaughter conviction to a lesser charge in a case that became a flashpoint for police accountability.

Peter Liang was sentenced to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service in the 2014 shooting of Akai Gurley, who was walking down a public housing stairway when Liang, a rookie officer, fired a bullet into the dark — by accident after being startled, he said. The bullet ricocheted and killed Gurley, 28.

Speaking softly, Liang told the court he never meant to fire and apologized to Gurley’s family.

“My life is forever changed,” he added. “I hope you give me a chance to rebuild it.”

Liang, 28, is the first New York City police officer convicted in an on-duty shooting in 11 years. A jury found him guilty this winter of a manslaughter charge carrying up to 15 years in prison.

But Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun reduced the offense Tuesday to criminally negligent homicide, which carries up to four years in prison. He said prosecutors hadn’t met the legal burden for the manslaughter charge: proving that Liang consciously disregarded a substantial, unjustifiable risk of death.

And, the judge said, “given the defendant’s background and how remorseful he is, it would not be necessary to incarcerate the defendant to have a just sentence in this case.”

Why this cop’s conviction brought thousands of Asian Americans into New York’s streets
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson had recommended against prison for Liang, but the prosecutor said Tuesday he would appeal the judge’s decision to reduce the conviction. Defense lawyer Paul Shechtman said Liang would also appeal his remaining conviction, though the day’s developments marked “a very good chapter” for him.

Update: FEB. 11, 2016

A New York City police officer was convicted of manslaughter on Thursday for killing an unarmed man who was hit by a ricocheting bullet fired from the officer’s gun in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project in a case that highlighted concerns over police accountability.

The officer, Peter Liang, and his partner were conducting a so-called vertical patrol on Nov. 20, 2014, inside the Louis H. Pink Houses in the East New York neighborhood. At one point, Officer Liang opened a door into an unlighted stairwell and his gun went off. The bullet glanced off a wall and hit Akai Gurley, 28, who was walking down the stairs with his girlfriend, and pierced his heart.

Mr. Liang, a rookie officer who had graduated from the Police Academy the year before the shooting, was also found guilty of official misconduct for failing to help Mr. Gurley as he lay on a fifth-floor landing. Mr. Gurley’s girlfriend, Melissa Butler, had testified that while she knelt in a pool of his blood trying to resuscitate him, the officer stopped briefly but did not help before proceeding down the stairs.

The verdict, delivered in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, comes amid a national debate on the policing of black neighborhoods after a string of killings of unarmed black men by police officers. And the jury’s decision is a rare instance in which a police officer was convicted of killing someone in the line of duty.

The jury deliberated a little more than two days before reaching a verdict. The Police Department said soon after the verdict that it had fired Officer Liang.

After hearing the verdict, Officer Liang bowed his head and sank his face into his hands. His lawyer placed a hand on the officer’s back. The officer left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.

“Clearly it’s a terrible tragedy Mr. Gurley died,” said one of Officer Liang’s lawyers, Robert E. Brown, who had described the shooting as a freakish accident. “My client feels terrible about it, but what he did wasn’t a crime.”

The jury’s decision elicited tears from Mr. Gurley’s family and friends. They huddled in a group embrace, crying, swaying and offering words of relief and thanks.

Mr. Liang, 28, faces up to 15 years in prison on the second-degree manslaughter charge when he is sentenced on April 14. Most of the jurors left the courtroom quickly, but one juror, who declined to give his name, said in a brief interview that the decision had been “very, very, very difficult.”

Via RT.com

2014/11/23

A rookie NYPD officer “accidentally” shot and killed an unarmed African-American man in a staircase in a New York apartment block. It happened as Ferguson is tensely waiting for a grand jury decision on a police officer who shot Michael Brown.

Akai Gurley, 28, and his girlfriend Melissa Butler were entering a staircase on the seventh floor in Pink House project in Brooklyn late Thursday evening when two policemen came down from the eighth floor. Peter Liang and his partner, Shaun Landau were doing a top-to-bottom patrol. Liang, a rookie on probationary assignment, fired a shot in Gurley’s chest without a warning, Butler said.

RELATED: SHOCK VIDEO: Cop Repeatedly Shoots Unarmed Man While His Hands Were Raised in the Air, Posing No Threat to the Officer

“They didn’t present themselves or nothing and shot him,” Butler told DNAinfo New York. “As soon as he came in, the police opened the [door to the] eighth-floor staircase. They didn’t identify themselves at all. They just shot.”

Gurley and Butler tried to go down the stairs but reached only the fifth floor where Gurley lost consciousness. There a neighbor called an ambulance. Butler says the policemen did not come to help nor called the ambulance. Gurley, who has a 2-year-old son, was pronounced dead on arrival to hospital.

An NYPD spokesperson said the police department’s internal affairs bureau is investigating the shooting. Liang has been placed on modified assignment and was relieved of both his badge and gun.

The police are collecting information from witnesses and radio reports without talking to Liang as according to the policy, he will be interrogated in the District Attorney’s office first and then by internal affairs officers.

“What happened last night was a very unfortunate tragedy,” police commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement. “The deceased is totally innocent. He just happened to be in the hallway. He was not engaged in any criminal activity.”

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Bratton said it probably was an accidental discharge of weapon.

“So here’s an unarmed, black 28 year old in the stairwell,” former City Councilmember Charles Barron said as quoted by CBS New York. “Two officers, one Asian, one white, fully armed. He’s unarmed, they meet on the stairwell and he winds up dead with a bullet in his chest. I want to hear the justification for this one. Don’t tell me the hallway was dimly lit. That’s no reason to kill a black man on a stairwell.”

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 4758 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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