A New York DA just recommended zero jail time for convicted NYPD cop Peter Liang, who fatally shot a man, and texted his union rep as the victim died rather than render assistance.
Liang shot and killed Akai Gurley in the stairwell of a housing project while on “vertical patrol” in 2014 and was later convicted of manslaughter and official misconduct.
Liang faced 15 years in prison.
Instead, in a move that has stunned the Gurley family, Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said, “Justice will be best served if Mr. Liang is sentenced to five years of probation, with the condition that he serves six months of home confinement with electric monitoring and performs 500 hours of community service. I have provided this sentencing recommendation to Justice Chun.”
While it is possible that, “Mr. Liang has no prior criminal history and poses no future threat to public safety,” as Thompson conjectured in his official statement, Akai Gurley’s family strongly disagreed with the following in their response: “Because his incarceration is not necessary to protect the public, and due to the unique circumstances of this case, a prison sentence is not warranted.”
The family issued an official statement pointing out Liang’s failure to render aid to New York Daily News senior justice writer Shaun King, which you can see below. Gurley’s family wrote:
“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.”
“It is this on-going pattern of a severe lack of accountability for officers that unjustly kill and brutalize New Yorkers that allows the violence to continue.”
The NYDN reports that the family was notified through the media and not contacted by DA Thompson.
Sentencing is set for April 14th.
Liang was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of his peers because his actions were criminal, but Thompson sees it somehow otherwise, claiming that, “In sentencing a defendant, the facts of the crime and the particular characteristics of that person must be considered,” and then promptly ignoring the content of his own statement.
The young ex-NYPD officer Liang discharged his weapon, then failed to report the incident.
A neighbor called 911 tipping off police that a crime may have been committed.
Meanwhile, as Gurley lay dying in the stairwell, having done nothing unlawful or wrong, Liang was furiously texting his police union representative.
Liang failed to render aid or CPR to Gurley.
After Liang misused his service weapon – keeping his finger on the trigger against NYPD policy – his behavior afterwards showed a gross disregard for his duty of office.
Fortunately, the Brooklyn District Attorney maintains an “Action Center” which can be contacted at 718-250-2340 if you think Mr. Thompson’s recommendation was made in error.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) March 24, 2016