Protests For Akai Gurley Begin In East New York

December 29, 2014 | Rhett Jones

Protesters gathered in East New York on Saturday to demand justice for Akai Gurley, a resident of the Pink Houses who was shot in a darkened stairwell by a rookie cop. More than 200 protesters reportedly gathered at the site of the shooting before making their way to the 75th Precinct.

After arriving at the station, protestors reportedly turned their backs on police officers in a gesture that echoes the NYPD’s chosen way of demonstrating its lack of faith in Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The officer involved in Gurley’s death, Peter Liang, was reportedly patrolling with his gun drawn while performing a routine “vertical” patrol of the project houses stairwell. Officials claim that an accidental discharge occurred and a bullet ricocheted off a wall, striking Gurley in the chest as he was descending the staircase. Gurley later died from his wound. A medical examiner has ruled the incident a homicide.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson is currently handling an investigation into the shooting and has stated that he will impanel a grand jury to decide whether criminal charges should be filed in regards to the incident.

(Photo: Joe Jackson)