Rookie Police Officer Peter Liang has been indicted for the shooting death of unarmed Akai Gurley.
My Fox NY reports:
A grand jury has indicted the rookie NYPD officer who shot and killed an unarmed man inside a pitch-black stairwell of a housing project in Brooklyn, the Associated Press reported, citing two sources.
The office of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson would not confirm the news of the indictment.
Police Officer Peter Liang will face criminal charges in the Nov. 20, 2014, death of Akai Gurley, 28, at the Pink Houses in East New York. The AP did not report what the specific charges are.
Peter Rynecki, an lawyer representing Gurley’s family, said that Liang is expected to appear in court Webnesday.
“This is the first step for justice,” he said.
Liang and his partner were conducting what the NYPD calls a “vertical patrol” — walking the stairways. When Gurley and his girlfriend walked through a doorway, Liang fired once from his unholstered weapon, striking Gurley.
The lights in the stairways were out. Residents said they had complained to management about the broken light bulbs.
After the shooting, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton described Gurley as “a total innocent” and the shooting an “accident.”
The head of the police union said that the officer deserved due process.
“The fact the he was assigned to patrol one most dangerous housing projects in New York City must be considered among the circumstances of this tragic accident,” PBA president Patrick Lynch said in a statement.