(NEW YORK) — A New York City police officer who shot an unarmed man in a pitch-dark public housing stairway has been convicted of manslaughter.
Jurors delivered their verdict Thursday in Officer Peter Liang’s trial. It’s been closely watched by advocates for police accountability.
The rookie officer was patrolling the stairwell with his gun drawn in 2014 when he fired. The bullet ricocheted off a wall and hit 28-year-old Akai Gurley on a lower floor.
Prosecutors said Liang handled his gun recklessly and did almost nothing to help Gurley.
The 28-year-old Liang said he fired by accident after a noise startled him. He acknowledged not helping Gurley’s girlfriend try to revive him, but Liang explained he thought it was wiser to wait for professional medical aid.