Akai Gurley, 28, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by NYPD officer Peter Liang on November 20, 2014. According to reports, Liang was patrolling the Pink Houses housing projects in Brooklyn. Gurley and his girlfriend entered the stairwell of the projects and Liang fired a shot that reportedly ricocheted off the wall, then hit Gurley in the chest. Liang claimed he was “startled by a loud noise.”
In February 2015, Liang was indicted for the death of Gurley and in March 2015, Liang was found guilty of second degree manslaughter, but the recommendation of the court requested no jail time, but probation instead. On April 19, after delaying his sentencing for a week, Brooklyn Judge Danny Chun sentenced Liang to 800 hours of community service and five years of probation after reducing the charge of manslaughter to criminally negligent homicide. The negligence was because Liang failed to call an ambulance of perform CPR on Gurley immediately following the shooting.
In a statement read by Liang, he said, “I was in shock and could barely breathe,” after the shooting. “I wish I could undo what happened.”
Chun released a statement to the LA Times about the incident:
“Shooting that gun and killing someone was probably the last thing in his mind and probably never entered his mind at all. This was not an intentional act. …There’s no evidence, either direct or circumstantial, that the defendant was aware of Akai Gurley’s presence.”
Source: LA Times