NYPD Officer Indicted in Killing of Brooklyn Man

NYPD Officer Peter Liang was indicted on Tuesday in the shooting death of a Brooklyn man, Akai Gurley. Gurley was the 28-year old man accidently shot by rookie P.O. Liang in a darkened staircase at the Pink Houses, a NYCHA development in East New York.

According to reports by NY1, the NY Daily News and WNYC, Liang is facing charges of criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, assault and official misconduct. Citing the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson would not confirm news reports.

The top charge of manslaughter carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.

A law enforcement source told the NY Post that the 27-year old officer did not testify before the grand jury. The Post also reported that Akai Gurley’s common-law wife and a woman who was with him when he shot in the stairwell that fateful November night both testified.

Liang, who had his gun in his left hand and flashlight in his right, has said the weapon accidentally discharged when he opened a stairwell door with the same hand that held the gun.

Kimberly Ballinger, Gurley common-law wife, who has filed notice that she plans on suing the city for $50 million, expressed her happiness about the indictment.

“No matter the specific charges, this case is an unspeakable tragedy for the Gurley family,” said Mayor de Blasio in a press statement. “We urge everyone to respect the judicial process as it unfolds.”

Patrick Lynch, the PBA president, urged that Liang be afforded his due process and reminded New Yorkers that he patrolled one of the most dangerous public housing developments.

The Daily News reported in December that Officer Liang’s supervisor told him not to conduct vertical patrols in the Pink Houses. Liang apparently ignored that directive.

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