Look: Details Behind the $4.1 Million Settlement Awarded to the Family of Akai Gurley

Look: Details Behind the $4.1 Million Settlement Awarded to the Family of Akai Gurley

The unarmed Brooklyn man was killed by a police officer in 2014.

Published August 16, 2016

The city of New York has reached a $4.1 million settlement that will be paid to the family of Akai Gurley.

In 2014, Gurley was killed in a Brooklyn housing project by Officer Pete Liang, who was conducting a search of the housing project. When Liang rounded a corner of the 8th floor with his weapon drawn, he accidentally shot his weapon and the bullet ricocheted and hit Gurley. At the time of his death, Gurley was unarmed. After the shooting, Liang did not report an accidental discharge to his sergeant, nor did he provide any medical care to Gurley.

In February, Liang was convicted of manslaughter, but Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun reduced the charge to criminally negligent homicide and sentenced Liang to 800 hours of community service.

The city will pay most of the settlement, $4.1 million, said Scott Rynecki, who represents Mr. Gurley’s domestic partner, Kimberly Ballinger, 26, and their 4-year-old daughter, Akaila Gurley. The New York City Housing Authority will pay an additional $400,000, and Liang will pay $25,000.

“I’m glad it’s all done. I’m pleased with the outcome,” Ballinger said outside of the courtroom.

The killing of Gurley and the results of the settlement have also acted as learning opportunity for the police department as well as the city.

"From retraining our officers to adding body cameras to launching neighborhood policing, our administration is taking significant steps to strengthen the relationship between our officers and the communities they serve," deputy press secretary Monica Klein said in a statement to NBC News.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)


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