On Nov. 20th, unarmed 28-year Akai Gurley was shot and killed by NYPD officer Peter Liang in a stairwell of the Louis H. Pink Houses in the East New York section of Brooklyn. A medical examiner has now ruled this death a homicide, NBC reports.
[ALSO READ: NYPD Kills An Unarmed Brooklyn Man]
While Liang and his partner were at the eighth floor landing, Gurley entered at the seventh floor landing, which startled Liang. He had his flashlight in one hand and his gun in the other and accidentally fired his weapon, hitting Gurley in the chest. Gurley stumbled down to the fifth floor where his girlfriend sought aid for him by knocking on doors. By the time Liang and his partner found the two 911 had already been called. Gurley was pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital.
The stairwell is said to not have had properly working lights and there are reports that it was “dimly-lit.”
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said this was an accident and called Liang a “total innocent.”
Gurley’s death sparked outrage in his Brooklyn community and over this past weekend when 250 people marched outside of the 75th Precinct, where Liang is stationed.