Another day, another headline about police wrongfully snatching lives. Unfortunately, the latest victim of a New York Police Department shooting death was 28-year-old, Akai Gurley. Last night (Nov. 20) rookie cop Peter Liang, alongside rookie partner Shaun Landau, fatally shot Gurley in a dimly lit Brooklyn housing project stairwell. The NYPD is calling it an accident.
Liang and Landau were performing a routine vertical (or top to bottom) patrol in the complex and entered the eighth floor stairwell of the Louis Pink Houses at 2724 Linden Blvd. Liang drew his gun and flashlight as a safety precaution since the area was “pitch black.”
At the same time, Gurley and his girlfriend, Melissa Butler, were entering the stairwell from the seventh floor. Startled, Liang shot Gurley once in his chest without warning from 10 to 12 feet away. Gurley eventually collapsed on the fifth floor. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Brookdale Hospital.
During a press conference today (Nov. 21), New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton called the incident an “unfortunate tragedy” caused by “accidental discharge.” Bratton also made it clear that Gurley “was not engaged in any criminal activity of any type.”
According to authorities, the incident is now being investigated by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
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