Peter Liang, the NYPD officer who is accused of shooting and killing Brooklyn resident Akai Gurley, “did nothing” to help Gurley after the shooting, a witness testified in court yesterday. Liang is charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide and faces up to 15 years in prison.
In 2014, Gurley was ascending a darkened stairwell in the Pink Houses, the East New York housing project where he lived, when Liang discharged his service weapon and sent a bullet ricocheting off of a wall and into Gurley’s chest. Liang was patrolling the stairs with his gun drawn and his finger on the trigger, according to prosecutors.
Jurors heard testimony yesterday from Melissa Lopez, a neighbor of Gurley’s who called 911 after Gurley’s girlfriend notified her of his death. “I didn’t see him do anything. I saw him walk around them and come down the stairs to ask me what was the address to the building,” she said of Liang.
Prosecutors also played a recording of Lopez’s 911 call, which is embedded via the New York Daily News above. After a dispatcher asks Lopez if police are present and assisting Gurley’s girlfriend with administering CPR, she answers, “They’re right here. They’re not with her. They’re trying to I guess call for backup. I don’t know.”
Rae Koshetz, Liang’s defense lawyer, alleged that his finger was not on the gun’s trigger, and that administering CPR would not have helped him. “It is a fatal wound. No amount of CPR can save Akai Gurley,” Koshetz said.