Civil Rights Group Urges Judge to ignore DA Thompson and Imprison Officer Liang, Killer of Gurley

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In response to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson’s announcement that he is recommending a sentence with no jail time for Liang, who killed unarmed Akai Gurley, the Justice Committee issued the following statement from Co-Director Loyda Colon:

We are outraged that District Attorney Thompson’s sentencing recommendation for former NYPD Officer Peter Liang includes no jail time. Liang entered a stairwell in the Pink Houses with his gun drawn – against NYPD protocol. He shot unarmed Akai Gurley, who was doing nothing wrong. Then he attempted to cover up his wrongdoing rather than assist Gurley, who lay dying on the floor. These are criminal actions, for which Liang should be held accountable.

The historic and on-going lack of accountability for officers who unjustly kill and brutalize New Yorkers allows and even encourages the violence to continue and creates a culture in which officers feel they are above the law. DA Thompson’s sentencing recommendation continues this pattern and is an additional injustice done to Gurley's family. It exposes Thompson as a hypocrite and part of a criminal justice system that continues to devalue Black lives.

We call on Judge Chun not to replicate DA Thompson’s failure and instead hand down a sentence fitting with Liang’s crime that includes prison time.

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