NY1 reports that rookie officer Peter Liang has been indicted in the death of Akai Gurley. Liang shot Gurley during a November “vertical patrol” in one of East New York’s Pink Houses, after the unarmed 28-year-old and his girlfriend walked into a dimly lit stairwell of the NYCHA building.
While Liang’s exact reason for pulling the trigger remains unclear — investigators say that he claimed that his finger slipped as he was trying to open a door — NYPD chief Bill Bratton described the incident as an “accidental discharge.” “The deceased is a total innocent who was not engaged in any criminal activity of any type,” he said. Immediately after the shooting, Liang reportedly texted his union representative rather than trying to see if Gurley, who was lying wounded on a landing one floor below him, was all right.
For now, the charges against Liang are not known. According to the New York Daily News, “Liang is expected to surrender to authorities on Wednesday. A grand jury started hearing the case on Feb. 4. A spokeswoman for the Brooklyn district attorney could not be immediately reached.”