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Judge Throws Out Former NYPD Officer’s Manslaughter Conviction in Shooting of Unarmed Man

By Staff


LiangBrooklyn Judge Danny Chun has reduced former NYPD officer Peter Liang’s manslaughter conviction for shooting an unarmed black man in 2014 to criminally negligent homicide.

Liang, a Chinese American, said he killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley after accidentally firing his gun into the stairwell of a housing project.

He was convicted of manslaughter, and subsequently fired, in February.

According to USA Today, Brooklyn prosecutor Ken Thompson announced he would recommend home confinement, probation and 500 hours of community service for Liang last month.

“His incarceration is not necessary to protect the public,” Thompson stated.

Gurley’s family released the following statement in response to Thompson’s announcement:

“We are outraged at District Attorney Thompson’s inadequate sentencing recommendation. Officer Liang was convicted of manslaughter, and should serve time in prison for his crime. This sentencing recommendation sends the message that police officers who kill people should not face serious consequences.”

The family also started a Facebook page titled, “Justice for Akai Gurley Family,” and encouraged supporters to gather at the courthouse Tuesday to “demand accountability” for the killing.

Liang’s supporters, including a large number of Chinese Americans, also gathered in Brooklyn, citing the fact that white officers had rarely been tried and convicted for similar crimes.

Ultimately, Chun threw out Liang’s prior conviction, sentencing the former officer to five years probation, and 800 hours of community service for the crime.

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