NYPD Officer Charged With Manslaughter for the Shooting of Akai Gurley

NYPD Officer Charged With Manslaughter for the Shooting of Akai Gurley

Peter Liang shot the 28-year-old in a stairwell in an NYC housing project.

Published February 11, 2015

Update: Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2:59 p.m.

NYPD officer Peter Liang has been charged with manslaughter and officer misconduct in the shooting death of Akai Gurley on Wednesday afternoon. Liang has pleaded not guilty to both charges.


Previous, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2:42 p.m.

Peter Liang has been indicted for the shooting of Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old who was shot in a stairwell in a Brooklyn public housing complex in November, according to the Associated Press.

Liang will appear in court on Wednesday, Peter Rynecki, the Gurley family lawyer, told the Associated Press.

"This is the first step for justice," Rynecki said.

The charges have not yet been announced. In November, Gurley's death was ruled a homicide. 

On Nov. 20, Gurley and his girlfriend, Melissa Butler, entered the stairwell of the eighth floor where the officers "confronted him." One officer fired a round from his gun that struck Gurley in the chest, according to the New York Times. He later staggered several flights of steps before collapsing. 

According to the sister of Gurley's girlfriend, the Times reports, the officers did not identify themselves or give any commands to Gurley before firing a shot. "The cop didn’t present himself, he just shot him in the chest," Janice Butler said, according to the Times. "They didn’t see their face or nothing."

Gurley, who did not live in the building, was visiting and getting his hair braided for several hours before he and his girlfriend decided to leave. After a building elevator was taking too long, they decided to walk down the stairs. 

The lights in the stairwell of the building are dim and the ones that go out are normally not replaced, residents say. 

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Written by BET-Staff


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