Brooklyn Boro

NYPD officer in Gurley shooting indicted

February 10, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Attorney Scott Rynecki, left, and Kimberly Ballinger, the domestic partner of Akai Gurley and mother of his toddler daughter, hold a press conference on Jan. 29. Ballinger filed a lawsuit seeking $50 million against the city, the New York Police Department and officers Peter Liang and Shaun Landau in the shooting death of Akai in a Brooklyn housing project stairway. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

The police officer who fatally shot unarmed Brooklyn man Akai Gurley has been indicted, NY1 reports.  NY1’s Dean Meminger adds that law enforcement sources provided him with the information.  

Attorney Scott Rynecki told the Eagle that the officer, Peter Liang, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Criminal Term.

Patrick J. Lynch, head of Liang’s union, said Liang 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.

Liang and his rookie partner were patrolling the Louis Pink Houses, a public housing development, in Brooklyn’s gritty East New York section when the officer apparently accidentally discharged his weapon. Gurley had been standing with a woman on a different floor, and after waiting for an elevator that didn’t come, he started walking down the stairs. Gurley was struck and killed, police said.

The shooting occurred Nov. 20 in the weeks before the decision on Staten Island not to indict an officer in the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. The move sparked mass protests and calls for reform of the grand jury system.

Reached for comment, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office would not confirm or deny the report of an indictment. 

If an impaneled grand jury returned a bill of indictment against Liang, this would be the third indictment against a police officer secured by DA Kenneth Thompson in less than a year.  

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In December, Thompson announced he would present the case before a grand jury, but was vague as to the details. “There is no timetable for the grand jury to be impaneled or for its determination to be reached,” Thompson said at the time.

 

–Charisma L. Troiano, Esq. contributing

 

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