New York City settles fatal police shooting lawsuit for $4M

17 August, 2016, 00:53 | Author: Brittany Bishop
  • New York City settles fatal police shooting lawsuit for $4M

The family of an unarmed black man fatally shot by a NY police officer two years ago will receive more than $4 million from the city to settle a wrongful-death claim.

Aka Gurley, 28, was shot in a darkened stairwell of a public housing building in November 2014 after taking the stairs when the elevator took too long to arrive in the poorly maintained apartment block. According to New York Daily News, the New York Housing Authority will pay out $400,000 for not repairing a light bulb in the stairwell of the Brooklyn housing project.

Liang was ultimately sentenced to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service after Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson recommended no prison time.

"My life is forever changed", Liang said in his trial.

The subsequent investigation showed that Liang had his gun drawn, despite no threat being present, an accepted practice for NYPD officers on vertical patrol, and one that was heavily criticized after Gurley's death.


Those demanding justice for Gurley and his family expressed similar sentiments on social media, noting that $4.1 million wasn't enough to bring the NY man back. The bullet hit a wall before striking Gurley, who was unarmed.

The rest of the money will be placed in a fund for Akalia, which she can't access without court approval until she turns 18. The suit also faulted the housing authority for failing to illuminate the stairwell properly, contributing to the shooting. "I'm pleased with the outcome", Ballinger, 26, told The Daily News on Monday, while waiting for Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dawn Jimenez-Salta to sign off on the settlement Monday afternoon. Unfortunately for everyone, when Liang tightened his finger on the door handle with his right hand, he also clenched his grip on his left hand, a natural sympathetic contraction/interlimb response known among physiologists as mirror movement or contralateral irradiation. The money is reportedly being put in annuities that will provide her with $10 million over her lifetime.

Liang and Landau, meanwhile, argued for several minutes about who would call their supervisor about the incident, all as Gurley lay dying. Mr Landau testified that his partner seemed more concerned with his losing his job than the bullet lodged n the left side of Mr Gurley's chest.

The case became a flashpoint for police accountability.

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