NYPD Officer Peter Liang indicted in case of shooting of Akai Gurley : reports

By LOUIS FLORES

The rookie New York Police Department officer, who shot his gun in a dark stairwell of the Louis Pink Houses in Brooklyn, shooting and killing Akai Gurley, age 18, has been indicated, several reports indicated.  

NYPD officer Peter Liang, age 27, was the target of a grand jury empaneled by District Attorney Kenneth Thompson (D-Brooklyn) that was probing criminality in Mr. Gurley's shooting death.  

Mr. Gurley's death, which was ruled to be a homicide by the city medical examiner's office, was amongst several recent instances resulting in fatalities from encounters with NYPD officers.  Analysis conducted by The New York Daily News showed that, over the last 15 years, encounters with NYPD officers have resulted in 179 fatalities.

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, who champions constant encounters between NYPD officers and low-income and minority communities under tactics broadly described as the "Broken Windows" theory of policing, has said that Mr. Gurley's death was an accident.

Protests over the deaths of others, including Ramarley Graham up in The Bronx in 2012 and Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014, converged with protests over Mr. Gurley's death and the deaths of other Americans, notably Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri,  at the hands of police officers to spark a social movement against police officer-involved brutality that leads to murder.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who chiefly campaigned for office in 2013 on the promise to end race-based policing in New York City, has violated that central campaign promise and has become a staunch defender of Broken Windows policing in spite of its blatant racial impact.

After tensions between City Hall and NYPD, Mayor de Blasio has been successfully pressured by police unions to abandon his piecemeal approach to police reforms. 

In response to each of the continuation of instances of police officer-involved brutality that leads to murder and Mayor de Blasio's failure to reform the NYPD, grassroots police reform activists have staged large-scale demonstrations in New York City, calling for an end to Broken Windows policing, the resignation of Commissioner Bratton, and other demands.  Other grassroots activists are calling for the creation of a new commission, modeled on the former Knapp and Mollen commissions, however, this time with the power to prosecute its own cases of misconduct by the NYPD, including of its Internal Affairs Bureau.   

The charges that the members of the grand jury voted to file against NYPD Officer Liang will be announced on Wednesday, according to a report published by The New York Times.