New York City officials announced yesterday that a Brooklyn police officer was indicted in the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley last November.
On November 20, Gurley, 28, entered a stairway in his girlfriend’s apartment building when NYPD Officer Peter Liang, who was patrolling the stairway with his gun drawn, fired a single shot, fatally wounding the unarmed father of one. No words were exchanged.
Nearly three months later, a grand jury has decided to charge Liang with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and official misconduct. This is the first time in more than two years that a New York City police officer has been indicted in the slaying of a civilian.
In order to secure an indictment, the prosecutor had to demonstrate that Liang recognized the risk and consequences of having his gun drawn while patrolling the area. The decision came back Tuesday after deliberations began last week.
“We urge everyone to respect the judicial process as it unfolds,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio after receiving word of the indictment.
Officer Liang’s lawyer declined comment until his client was formally arraigned, which is expected to happen today.