Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Justice Denied?

US Person posted previously about a New York police officer that killed an unarmed black man in the stairwell of a public housing unit in Brooklyn in 2014. Former officer Peter Liang was apparently unnerved by the dark surroundings when he fired a shot that ricocheted off a wall striking Akai Gurley in the chest, killing him. Gurley was walking with his girlfriend a floor below the cop. Liang was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and faced fifteen years in prison, but a New York Supreme Court Justice, Danny Chun, on Tuesday reduced his conviction to criminally negligent homicide and sentenced him to serve 800 hours of community service for the felony. He found prosecutors did not prove that Liang acted in conscious disregard of Gurley's presence in the confined space of the stairwell. Both prosecutors and defense lawyers argued the case was not about police brutality and that Liang should not be scapegoated for excessive force used by other New York police officers. The sentencing drew street protests from activists on both sides of the case.