Peter Liang Indicted: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Peter Liang Indicted


A rookie NYPD cop will face charges in the shooting of unarmed black man Akai Gurley in November 2014. Multiple reports on February 10 suggested that Officer Peter Liang had been indicted for the shooting which took place on November 20 inside a dark stairwell in Brooklyn. Gurley was shot once in the chest.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Since the Shooting, Liang Has Been on Desk Duty

The exact charges against Liang have not been announced, reports the New York Daily News. He had been placed on modified duty, pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation, according to Mayor Bill deBlasio, and stripped of his gun and badge. He’s been with the force since January 2015.

2. After Shooting Gurley, Liang’s Accused of Texting His Union Rep Rather Than Call for Help



In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, officer Liang is infamously accused of texting his union rep before calling for help. At the time of the shooting Liang was with his partner, fellow rookie, Shane Landau. A 911 operator had been unable to contact the pair after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor who heard the gunshots in the stairwell. The two officers were at the Louis H. Pink Houses that night as part of a “violence-reduction overtime detail”, according to Bratton at press conference after the shooting.

This was in response to a recent uptick in violent crime in the housing project, including two murders.

They were performing what is known as “vertical patrol”, when officers begin at the roof level of a building and work their way down. They were on the way to the roof when the shooting occurred.

3. Akai Gurley Was a ‘Total Innocent,’ According to NYPD Commissioner Ray Bratton

VideoVideo related to peter liang indicted: 5 fast facts you need to know2015-02-10T15:32:41-05:00

The shooting occurred in a Brooklyn apartment complex known as the Pink Houses. The stairwell where Liang and Gurley were had absolutely no light. In describing how the shooting went down, the New York Times wrote:

Even when the lights are working, the stairwell at the housing projects is so dark at night that anyone standing in it appears as a silhouette, according to residents.

The stairwells are fitted with fluorescent lights, they said, but the burned out bulbs are seldom replaced, and the few that work are dim.

Back in November, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Bratton described Gurley as a “total innocent.” You can watch a news report about the shooting above.

4. Akai Gurley’s Family Are Planning to Sue the NYPD



Officer Liang will surrender to authorities on February 11. The grand jury hearings into the shooting began on February 4. The jury met in Brooklyn and the case was presented by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson. My Fox New York reported in January 2015, that the family of Akai Gurley, and his girlfriend, Kimberly Ballinger, were planning to sue the NYPD. Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson issued a statement after the shooting saying,

The fatal shooting of this unarmed man is deeply troubling and warrants an immediate, fair and thorough investigation. Many questions must be answered, including whether, as reported, the lights in the hallway were out for a number of days, and how this tragedy actually occurred.”

5. Gurley Was an Aspiring Actor

Gurley was 28 years old when he was killed. The New York Daily News reports that Gurley lived in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn with his 2-year-old daughter. The News adds that he “was just about to start working for the city.” According to his profile at Explore Talent, Akai was an aspiring actor. He provides little information about himself on the site other than he describes himself as a actor and model. In his photos on the profile, he displays a muscular physique, prior to meeting his girlfriend on the night of his death, Gurley had been in the gym. Some of the little information on the profile says that he’s of Caribbean ethnicity, was 5’11, and is muscular. Speaking to DNA Info, Melissa Butler said:

He was a good person. He was into making music and helping people that were struggling. He would give money if you needed it. He’d give you advice.

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