A New York grand jury has found an NYPD officer guilty in the fatal 2014 shooting of 28-year-old Akai Gurley, an unarmed Black man, reports CNN.
Officer Peter Liang was found guilty of manslaughter and official misconduct and faces up to 15 years in prison.
“He seas a son,” Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said after the reading of the verdict. “He was a brother. I told his mother I’m sorry. There are no winners. This is a tragedy all over.”
The fatal shooting took place in an stairwell of a Brooklyn apartment building in November 2014. Liang was patrolling the building with his gun drawn when Gurley and his girlfriend entered the stairwell three stories below. Liang fired, though he claims that the gun accidentally discharged, and the bullet ricocheted off the cinderblock wall and fatally struck Gurley. According to police reports and Gurley’s girlfriend, Liang didn’t immediately seek medical attention or administer CPR.
“He wasted precious time arguing with his partner about calling for help,” Assistant District Attorney Marc Fliedner said during last month’s arguments. “In fact, instead of calling for help, he just stood there and whined and moaned about how he would get fired.”
A jury indicted Liang last February, and he faces up to 15 years in prison. A sentencing is scheduled to take place next month.