New York Prosecutor Will Not Recommend Prison Time for Officer Who Killed Akai Gurley
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In a frustrating move, a Brooklyn district attorney has said that he will not recommend that the officer convicted with killing 28-year-old Akai Gurley serve prison time, reports the Huffington Post.

Last month, a New York jury found former NYPD officer Peter Liang guilty of manslaughter and official misconduct in the fatal shooting of unarmed Gurley in a Brooklyn apartment building. Sentencing is scheduled to take place next month, and he faces up to 15 years in prison; however, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said that he was not going to recommend incarceration.

NYPD Officer Convicted of Manslaughter in 2014 Shooting Death of Akai Gurley

“Peter Liang was indicted, prosecuted and subsequently convicted by a jury because his reckless actions caused an innocent man to lose his life,” Thompson said in a statement. “There is no evidence, however, that he intended to kill or injure Akai Gurley. When Mr. Liang went into that building that night, he did so as a part of his job and to keep the people of Brooklyn and our city safe.”

In lieu of prison time, Thompson will recommend at the April 15 sentencing that Liang receive six months on house arrest, five years on probation and serve 500 community service hours.

Kimberly Ballinger, Girlfriend of Slain Brooklyn Man Akai Gurley, Seeking $50 Million in Wrongful Death Suit

Understandably, Gurley’s family is displeased at Thompson’s recommendation, issuing a statement that it “sends the message that police officers who kill people should not face serious consequences.”

Liang was patrolling the stairwell of a Brooklyn apartment building with his gun drawn the night of November 20, 2014. When Gurley and his girlfriend entered the staircase two floors below, Liang discharged his gun. The bullet ricocheted off a brick wall and fatally struck Gurley. 

Do you think that Liang should receive the full 15 years in prison? 

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.