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Brooklyn district attorney to send police shooting case to grand jury

December 8, 2014 Associated Press Brooklyn Daily Eagle
DA Kenneth Thompson. Photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Hours before the memorial service for an unarmed man who was shot by a police officer in a public housing stairwell, the Brooklyn district attorney said the shooting would be presented to a grand jury.

District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Friday he would conduct “a full and fair investigation” into the Nov. 20 shooting of Akai Gurley.

“I expect to present evidence regarding the Nov. 20, 2014, shooting of Akai Gurley to a grand jury because it is important to get to the bottom of what happened,” Thompson said. “I pledge to conduct a full and fair investigation and to give the grand jury all of the information necessary to do its job.”

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Police say Gurley and his girlfriend had opened a door into a stairway and a rookie officer patrolling the pitch-dark stairwell fired his gun.

Police Commissioner William Bratton called the shooting an accident. The medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide.

A memorial was held for Gurley on Friday. The Rev. Al Sharpton had originally planned to deliver the eulogy, but did not speak at the service.

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