NYPD Officer Indicted for Shooting, Killing Unarmed Black Man

In things we thought we would never write: A rookie NYPD officer was actually indicted today by a grand jury for shooting and killing an unarmed black man in a stairwell.

In November, officer Peter Liang shot Akai Gurley when he encountered the unarmed man walking down a dark staircase in a Brooklyn housing project, prompting the Brooklyn District Attorney to launch an investigation and convene a grand jury. Liang was officially indicted for top count second-degree manslaughter, and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

In a statement to the New York Daily News, Patrick Lynch, the outspoken president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said that Liang “deserves the same due process afforded to anyone involved in the accidental death of another.”

“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,” he added.

Other police leaders, including fellow union reps and Commissioner Bill Bratton himself, have called the incident an “accident.”

The grand jury was called shortly after Gurley’s death, with crucial details emerging: Notably, that Liang and his partner did not answer their radios in the six minutes following the shooting, texting their union reps instead.

[Image via ExploreTalent]

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