Peter Liang won't see jail time as manslaughter charge reduced

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

Asian Community Says the System Failed Akai Gurley and Former Officer Peter Liang



Former New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Peter Liang was spared jail time Tuesday for fatally shooting Akai Gurley in a Brooklyn housing project, a sentence that drew anger from Gurley's friends and family who packed the courtroom.

Following a recommendation that Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson made in March, Justice Danny Chun of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn ordered Liang, 28, to serve five years probation and 800 hours of community service. Liang will also serve three years probation concurrently on misconduct charges.

Thompson had originally recommended five years probation along with six months of home confinement and 500 hours of community service.

Chun also reduced Liang's second-degree manslaughter charge to criminally negligent homicide. "I find that given the defendant's background, and given how remorseful he is that it would not be necessary to incarcerate the defendant to have a just sentence in this case," Chun said Tuesday.

Upon leaving the courtroom Tuesday, Hertencia Peterson, Gurley's aunt, said, "Akai's life does not matter. Black lives do not matter. But don't worry: justice will be served one way or another."

See photos from the case:

28 PHOTOS
Akai Gurley shot by police officer Peter Liang NYPD
See Gallery
Peter Liang won't see jail time as manslaughter charge reduced
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2016 file photo, former New York City police officer Peter Liang, center, returns to the courtroom after a break in his trial on charges in the shooting death of Akai Gurley, at Brooklyn Supreme court in New York. Liang was fired from the police force shortly after the February jury verdict in the death of Gurley. Liang will find out if he's going to prison during sentencing on Tuesday, April 19, following his manslaughter conviction in the accidental shooting death of the unarmed man in a darkened stairwell. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
Police officer Peter Liang reacts as the verdict is read during his trial on charges in the shooting death of Akai Gurley, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 at Brooklyn Supreme court in New York in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: New York City police officer Peter Liang (2nd L) sits in court as testimony is read back for jurors during deliberations in his trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court February 10, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Liang is on trial for the shooting death of Akai Gurley in the stairwell of a housing project in November 2014. (Photo by Byron Smith-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Akai Gurley's partner, Kimberly Ballinger, speaks at a news conference following remarks by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson concerning the death of Gurley by a New York City police officer on February 11, 2015 in New York City. Police officer Peter Liang has been charged with manslaughter, official misconduct and other offenses following what he claims was the accidental shooting death of Gurley in a Brooklyn public housing complex last year. Liang pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the November 20 death of 28-year-old Gurley in the Pink Houses, a public housing complex in East New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson speaks at a news conference concerning charges in the death of Akai Gurley by a New York City police officer on February 11, 2015 in New York City. Police officer Peter Liang has been charged with manslaughter, official misconduct and other offenses following what he claims was the accidental shooting death of Gurley in a Brooklyn public housing complex last year. Liang pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the November 20 death of 28-year-old Gurley in the Pink Houses, a public housing complex in East New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
New York Police Department (NYPD) rookie officer Peter Liang (C) arrives at a courtroom in Brooklyn, New York, on January 20, 2016. A trial opens on January 20 of officer Liang who is accused of manslaughter over the death of an unarmed black man. Akai Gurley was 28 years old when he was fatally shot in a dimly lit stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project on November 20, 2014.Gurley's death was one of a string of shootings by police of black men under questionable circumstances, which sparked angry and at times violent protests across America in 2014 and 2015. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Activists guard Akai Gurley's partner, Kimberly Ballinger, as she speaks at a news conference following remarks by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson concerning the death of Gurley by a New York City police officer on February 11, 2015 in New York City. Police officer Peter Liang has been charged with manslaughter, official misconduct and other offenses following what he claims was the accidental shooting death of Gurley in a Brooklyn public housing complex last year. Liang pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the November 20 death of 28-year-old Gurley in the Pink Houses, a public housing complex in East New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 6: A Man holds a banner as he demand justice during the funeral service of Akai Gurley outside of the Brown Memorial Baptist Church on December 6, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Gurley was an unarmed 28-year-old man killed by New York City police officer Peter Liang in a housing development in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn on November 20. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 6: A Funeral services worker stands next to the casket of Akai Gurley during his funeral service at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church on December 6, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Gurley was an unarmed 28-year-old man killed by New York City police officer Peter Liang in a housing development in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn on November 20. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: People attend the funeral for Akai Gurley at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church on December 5, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Gurley was an unarmed 28-year-old man killed by New York City police officer Peter Liang in a housing development in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn on November 20. (Photo by Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)
Akai Gurley's stepfather Kenneth Palmer, right, and mother Sylvia Palmer leave the courtroom after the closing arguments in the trial of New York City Police Officer Peter Liang on charges in the shooting death of Akai Gurley, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, at Brooklyn Supreme court in New York. Jurors are scheduled to start discussing their views of Liangâs actions as soon as Tuesday. Closing arguments are expected in the morning, and deliberations are likely to begin in the afternoon. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Kenneth Palmer, stepfather of Akai Gurley, speaks outside state Supreme Court in the Brooklyn borough of New York Monday, Feb 8, 2016, after hearing NYPD Officer Peter Liang testify about Gurley's 2014 death in a housing project stairwell. Lawyers for Liang say the evidence doesn't meet legal requirements for the charges, which accuse him of disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk of serious injury or death, and have asked the judge to dismiss the case. (AP Photo/Jennifer Peltz)
Pall bearers carry the casket of Akai Gurley during his funeral at Brown Baptist Memorial Church, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Gurley was shot to death by rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang in a pitch black hallway of the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex in November. Police have described Gurley's death as an apparent accident. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Demonstrators pause outside the 75th Police Precinct during a march in protest of the shooting death of Akai Gurley by rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police have described Gurley's death as an apparent accident. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
State Assemblyman-elect Charles Barron, left, and his wife city Councilperson Inez Barron, flank Melissa Butler during a news conference outside the office of the Brooklyn District Attorney Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Barron told reporters he thinks the shooting of unarmed Akai Gurley by a New York City Police officer, in a pitch-dark stairwell of a public housing complex, warrants a charge of criminally negligent homicide. Butler was with Gurley when he was shot. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
State Assemblyman-elect Charles Barron and his wife city Councilperson Inez Barron, flank Melissa Butler, at a news conference outside the office of the Brooklyn District Attorney, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Barron told reporters he thinks the shooting of unarmed Akai Gurley by a New York City Police officer, in a pitch-dark stairwell of a public housing complex, warrants a charge of criminally negligent homicide. Butler was with Gurley when he was shot. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
A mourner places a candle at a memorial to Akai Gurley who was shot to death by rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police have described Gurley's death as an apparent accident. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Kimberly Michelle Ballinger, domestic partner of Akai Gurley, who was shot by an NYPD officer, is joined by Rev. Al Sharpton at the National Action Network in New York Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Police have described a rookie officer's shooting of Gurley in a Brooklyn staircase Thursday as an apparent accident. Sharpton called for prosecutors to investigate thoroughly and for police to improve training and procedures. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Demonstrators chant outside the 75th Police Precinct during a march in protest of the shooting death of Akai Gurley by rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police have described Gurley's death as an apparent accident. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Police officers stand guard at the Public Service Area #2 building as demonstrators arrive in protest of the shooting death of Akai Gurley by rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police have described Gurley's death as an apparent accident. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A man hands a young girl a paper with photographs of people allegedly killed by New York Police Department officers outside of the building where a man was allegedly shot by a police officer the night before at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Brooklyn borough of New York. A rookie police officer with his gun drawn shot to death 28-year-old Akai Gurley, an unarmed, innocent man in the darkened stairwell of the crime-ridden public housing complex, New York City police officials said Friday. The shooting appeared to be an accident, Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Men gather outside of the building where a man was allegedly shot by a police officer the night before at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Brooklyn borough of New York. A rookie police officer with his gun drawn shot to death 28-year-old Akai Gurley, an unarmed, innocent man in the darkened stairwell of the crime-ridden public housing complex, New York City police officials said Friday. The shooting appeared to be an accident, Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A man who identified himself as a detective with the district attorney's office inspects the area in a stairwell where a man was allegedly shot by a police officer the night before at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Brooklyn borough of New York. A rookie police officer with his gun drawn shot to death 28-year-old Akai Gurley, an unarmed, innocent man in the darkened stairwell of the crime-ridden public housing complex, New York City police officials said Friday. The shooting appeared to be an accident, Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A woman reads a paper with photographs of people allegedly killed by New York City Police officers outside of the building where a man was allegedly shot by a police officer the night before at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Brooklyn borough of New York. A rookie police officer with his gun drawn shot to death 28-year-old Akai Gurley, an unarmed, innocent man in the darkened stairwell of the crime-ridden public housing complex, New York City police officials said Friday. The shooting appeared to be an accident, Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Kimberly Michelle Ballinger, center, holds Akaila Gurley, 2, daughter of Akai Gurley,who was shot by an NYPD officer, as she is joined by Rev. Al Sharpton, center, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer at the National Action Network in New York Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Police have described a rookie officer's shooting of Akai Gurley in a Brooklyn staircase Thursday as an apparent accident. Sharpton called for prosecutors to investigate thoroughly and for police to improve training and procedures. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
A resident, left, passes by as members of the New York City Housing Authority wait for an elevator while fixing light fixtures in the stairway of the building where a man was allegedly shot by a police officer the night before at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Brooklyn borough of New York. A rookie police officer with his gun drawn shot to death 28-year-old Akai Gurley, an unarmed, innocent man in the darkened stairwell of the crime-ridden public housing complex, New York City police officials said Friday. The shooting appeared to be an accident, Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Police officers stand guard at the Public Service Area #2 building as demonstrators arrive in protest of the shooting death of Akai Gurley by rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police have described Gurley's death as an apparent accident. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Messages from mourners adorn a memorial to Akai Gurley who was shot to death by rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang at the Louis Pink Houses public housing complex, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police have described Gurley's death as an apparent accident. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

On Nov. 20, 2014, Liang was beginning a vertical patrol with his partner, former NYPD Officer Shaun Landau, on the eighth floor of an unlit stairwell at the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn when, Liang testified, he was startled and accidentally fired a shot. The bullet ricocheted off a wall and struck 28-year-old Gurley, who had entered with his friend Melissa Butler from the floor below.

Prosecutors said Liang's actions were reckless and that he did not step in to perform CPR on Gurley, who lay dying on the fifth-floor landing. Liang's attorneys argued he was in a state of shock after the shooting and was inadequately trained in the life-saving procedure, an allegation raised at trial that resulted in the NYPD placing a police academy CPR instructor on modified duty last month.

Thompson, in his March 23 statement, called the shooting unintentional and said putting Liang in prison was not necessary for protecting the public. A day after the announcement, Liang met with Gurley's domestic partner and mother of his child, Kimberly Ballinger, to apologize.

Read Full Story

People are Reading