Why the f*ck is a rookie doing patrol in Pink Houses? This is another tragedy on all levels and the NYPD has a serious problem with trigger happy officers who have no respect for black life.
via NY Times
A rookie New York City police officer shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old man in a darkened stairwell in Brooklyn late Thursday night, according to the police.
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said that the victim, Akai Gurley, was “a total innocent” and called the shooting “an unfortunate accident.”
He was not engaged in any activity other than trying to walk down the stairs, Mr. Bratton said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was also quick to offer his condolences to Mr. Gurley’s family. “This is a tragedy,” he said.
The officer who shot Mr. Gurley, Peter Liang, has been on the force for less than 18 months and was still on probationary status.
Officer Liang, 27, and his partner, who was also new to the force, were patrolling the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York on Thursday night, part of an effort to increase the police presence at the housing complex, which had been plagued by a spate of violence, including two homicides.
Officer Liang also drew his weapon, the police said.
At the same moment the officers started down the stairwell, Mr. Gurley and his girlfriend entered through a door on the seventh floor, fourteen concrete steps below the officers.
It was unclear why, but Officer Liang accidentally discharged his weapon and fired a single shot that struck Mr. Gurley in the chest.
The force of the blast sent Mr. Gurley tumbling down two flights of stairs, where his girlfriend knelt by his side. The officers, who briefly backed out of the stairwell, found her by Mr. Gurley’s side trying to save his life.
Mr. Gurley was taken to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Following standard protocol, Officer Liang was relieved of his gun and his badge.
As details about the shooting emerged, Mr. Bratton faced questions about why an officer would be on patrol with his weapon drawn when there was no clear threat.
“We leave that decision as to when to take a firearm out to the discretion of the officers based on what they are encountering or believe they may encounter,” Mr. Bratton said. “There’s not a specific prohibition against taking a firearm out.”