Friday, 12 February 2016


The rookie said he had his gun drawn as a precaution while walking down the stairs of the housing project when it went off.
15:50, UK, Friday 12 February 2016

New York City Police officer (NYPD) Peter Liang is lead from the court room at the Brooklyn Supreme court in the Brooklyn borough of New York
A rookie police officer whose gun went off in the darkened stairwell of a Brooklyn high rise, killing an unarmed black man, has been found guilty of manslaughter.
Peter Liang faces up to 15 years in prison for the death of Akai Gurley, 28, who was struck in the chest by a bullet that ricocheted off the wall of the housing complex two years ago.
Liang, also 28, is to be sentenced on 14 April for second-degree manslaughter and official misconduct after a two-week trial.
He buried his head in his hands as the jury returned their verdict. He was fired after the outcome.
The mostly white jury deliberated for more than two days.
Akai Gurley
The shooting fuelled protests in the US against excessive force by police.
It happened as the Chinese-American police officer and his partner were on a routine patrol at Louis H Pink Houses in 20 November 2014.
Liang said he had his gun drawn as a precaution while walking down a darkened stairwell on the eighth floor of the housing project.
But the weapon went off, hitting Mr Gurley, a father of one.
Mr Gurley and his girlfriend, Melissa Butler, had decided to take the stairs instead of waiting for the lift. She was uninjured.
Liang testified his gun went off accidentally and he did not know someone was below him in the stairwell.
But prosecutor Marc Fliedner claimed Liang "fired for no reason", then "wasted precious time arguing with his partner", worried he would be sacked.
He also said the defendant did not call his superior officer or an ambulance and should not have had his finger on the trigger.
But Liang's lawyer, Rae Koshetz, said he became a "wreck" after the shooting and was too traumatised to communicate.
"This is not a referendum on policing in the United States," she told jurors. "It was an accident."
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he hoped the verdict brought closure to the Gurley family for the "painful event".