Its been a few months since city cops have killed an unarmed black man, but New York’s Finest ended that streak Thursday night. Rookie officer Peter Liang fatally shot Akai Gurley, 28, in the chest reports the Daily News. The incident took place in what the NYPD is characterizing as a “dimly lit stairwell of the Pink Houses in East New York.” A source told the paper that the cop admitted it was a mistake:
Officer Peter Liang, who fired the fatal shot, “heard a noise,” a police source told the Daily News. “It was dark. He must have been nervous.”
Gurley’s girlfriend, Melissa Butler,27, lives in the building and witnessed the shooting. The couple took the stairs because the elevator was taking too long, but just as they reached the 7th floor, she says the officer shot him dead without even uttering a warning.
“They didn’t identify themselves,” said Butler, 27, who began dating Gurley in January 2011. “No nothing. They didn’t give no explanation. They just pulled a gun and shot him in the chest.”
The always vigilant New York Post had this irrelevant detail to add to the story:
The victim has been arrested 24 times and has done time behind bars, sources said.
Soon after the publishing the article, it was updated with Gurley’s mugshot photo.
(Photo: Brian Blakely)