Officer Peter Liang, a rookie cop from Bensonhurst, has been charged in the shooting death of unarmed Akai Gurly, according to prosecutors.
Liang was on the force for just 18 months, according to reports, when he shot into a dark stairwell of an East New York Apartment building on Thursday, November 20, killing 28-year-old Gurly.
Following investigation, a grand jury has returned a six-count indictment charging the officer with one count of second-degree manslaughter, one count of criminally negligent homicide, one count of second-degree assault, one count of reckless endangerment and two counts of official misconduct, according to District Attorney Ken Thompson.
“The effort to strengthen the relationship between the police and the community necessarily involves holding an officer accountable when an innocent life is taken and a law is broken,” said Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries, commending Thompson for proceeding with cautious attention to the facts of the case. “The indictment is a meaningful step in the right direction in the march toward justice for the family of Akai Gurley.”
Prosecutors say that Liang – who pleaded not guilty and did not testify at the grand jury hearing – did not immediately report the shooting and, later, stood over the father-of-two’s body without performing CPR or providing any medical attention.