Akai Gurley Jury Shows Frustration In Possible House Arrest For Peter Liang
The jury in the case for ex-cop Peter Liang was shocked to hear Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson’s recommendations that included no jail time in the guilty verdict for the death of Akai Gurley.
According to the New York Daily News, the 12-person jury learned of Thompson's recommendation Friday which includes 500 hours of community service, five years probation and home confinement for six months. From personal experiences to abiding the laws of the court, jurors were surprised to discover the suggestions could be a reality. “What was the point of prosecuting him?” questioned an anonymous 62-year-old juror. "What did we do this for? I agree he doesn't deserve tremendous time, but if something is wrong, you shouldn't get a slap on the wrist."
Liang, 28, was found guilty of manslaughter for the shooting death of Gurley in February. The rookie officer fired his gun in a dimly lit public housing building staircase in November 2014, which ricocheted off the wall, striking Gurley in the chest. During the trial, jurors learned Liang did little to nothing to assist Gurley or his girlfriend who performed CPR on him with the help of a neighbor who called 911.
“You cannot put away the average person's thoughts here just because they are police officers,” the juror continued. “They deserve to be prosecuted and sentenced just like everyone else who has the same background or committed the same crime.”
Gurley's family has since expressed outrage over the recommendation, calling it a "modern-day lynching."
However, not everyone seemed to be distraught over the news. Carlton Screen, the lone African-American juror on the panel isn't slamming Thompson for his decision. “He is doing his job and I can't question him,” Screen, 69, said. “That’s how he felt and he is doing what he needs to do as a man in the position, the district attorney.”
Liang is facing up to 15 years in prison. His sentencing will take place on April 14.