July 23, 2017

Brooklyn DA Recommends No Jail Time for Officer Convicted of Killing Akai Gurley

Peter Liang and Ken Thompson
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And we wish to thank Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson for taking a HUGE dump on the ‘All Lives Matter’ refrain!

BROOKLYN, NY – When Police Officer Peter Liang was convicted on second degree manslaughter charges stemming from the unprovoked shooting death of 28-year-old Akai Gurley, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson praised the verdict saying, “(W)e had to affirm that no matter where you live in Brooklyn, your life matters.”

On Wednesday, three weeks before Liang’s sentencing however, Thompson threw that affirmation into question when he recommended that Liang serve only probation and no jail time for the crime for which he was convicted of.

Saying that the case was about “justice and not about revenge,” Thompson, said in a statement that Liang, receive five years of probation, including six months of home confinement, when he faces sentencing on April 14.

“Mr. Liang has no prior criminal history and poses no future threat to public safety,” Mr. Thompson’s statement said. “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.”

Thompson’s sentencing letter to Justice Danny Chun of State Supreme Court is merely a recommendation and while he is not obligated to follow such suggestions, prosecutors’ recommendations typically play a strong role in sentencing. Liang however, was convicted of a Class C Felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years with a minimum of one year in prison.

Akai Gurley
Akai Gurley

Rookie officer Liang was on patrol in a stairwell with his partner Shaun Landau, also a rookie officer, in the Louis H. Pink Houses on Nov. 20, 2014, when his gun fired and a ricocheting bullet struck and killed Gurley, a 28-year-old black man who was visiting his girlfriend and who was unarmed. He was convicted on Feb. 11, and was then fired by the New York Police Department. Laudau was fired a day after the conviction, but was never criminally charged.

Liang’s lawyers have filed a motion to have the verdict overturned based on insufficient evidence, but applauded the DA’s recommendation. “Although we disagree with Mr. Thompson on the fundamental issue of Mr. Liang’s culpability, he deserves praise for his dispassionate and courageous decision that incarceration is not called for in this case,” Liang’s appellate lawyer Paul Shechtman said in a statement. Meanwhile, Gurley’s stepfather Kenneth Palmer was outraged. “What is justice? That’s my question right now.” he said. “If it was your son, what would you think?”

A week after the verdict, 10,000 protesters, many of them from the Asian-American community who saw the conviction as racially biased, rallied in New York and also called for Justice Chun to either overturn the verdict or to give Mr. Liang a probationary sentence.

 

 

 

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