Akai Gurley

New York City has agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of Akai Gurley, who was fatally shot by a city police officer in the stairwell of a housing project in the city's Brooklyn borough, the New York Post reports.

According to the report, the city will pay $4.1 million, while the New York City Housing Authority will pay out another $400,000. The officer who fatally shot Gurley, Peter Liang, who was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, will pay $25,000.


"Obviously, we're pleased with the results," the lawyer for the Gurley family, Scott Rynecki, said, according to the Post.

"At this point, we're hoping that the new incoming police commissioner, James O'Neill, will take this opportunity to review the policy and training that takes place at the academy, as well as the procedure of allowing two rookies to go on patrol together," he added, a reference to Liang and his partner at the time of the shooting.

The agreement was signed off by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dawn Jimenez-Salta Monday afternoon.

Rynecki said that the mother of Gurley's 3-year-old daughter, Akaila, was also pleased to be able to move forward from the case.


“She only hopes that she can now move on and raise their daughter to become a woman and a person Akai would be proud of,” he said.

Liang and his partner, Shaun Landau, both of whom have since been fired from the force, were on patrol together the night of Nov. 20, 2014, when they happened upon Gurley, who was walking down a flight of stairs.


The light in the stairwell was broken. Liang said he accidentally fired his weapon. The bullet ricocheted off the wall and hit Gurley in the heart.

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


Read more at the New York Post

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