Prosecutors may charge a police officer who accidentally shot and killed a black man in a dark public housing stairwell after the medical examiner ruled Monday that the death was a homicide.
Whether charges are filed in the death of Akai Gurley Thursday night would be up to Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, who has called the shooting “deeply troubling” and said it warrants “an immediate, fair and thorough investigation.”
Officer Peter Liang and his partner, both rookies, were patrolling a pitch-dark stairwell with flashlights late Thursday. As they walked down the stairs onto an eighth-floor landing, Gurley opened a stairwell door one floor down after giving up on waiting for an elevator. Liang, who had his gun drawn, fired by accident.