The Latest: Ex-cop to appeal reduced conviction in shooting

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2016 5:18 PM
The Latest: Ex-cop to appeal reduced conviction in shooting

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of a New York Police Department officer in the stairwell shooting death of an unarmed man (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

A defense lawyer says a former New York City police officer will appeal his newly reduced conviction in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a dark stairwell.

Ex-officer Peter Liang was sentenced Tuesday to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service. The sentence came after Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun reduced Liang's manslaughter conviction to the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide.

Attorney Paul Shechtman says, "This was a very good chapter for Peter Liang," but he still plans to appeal.

He added that Liang "is very sad" about what happened.

Liang was patrolling inside a public housing complex when he opened the stairwell door and fired once. He said he was startled. The bullet ricocheted and hit Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley.

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4:05 p.m.

Prosecutors say they will appeal a judge's decision to reduce the manslaughter conviction of a former New York City police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson says in a statement that prosecutors "respectfully" disagree with the decision Tuesday to lower former Officer Peter Liang's conviction to criminally negligent homicide.

Liang was patrolling inside a public housing complex when he opened the stairwell door and fired once. He said he was startled. The bullet ricocheted and hit Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley.

After reducing the conviction, state Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun sentenced Liang to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service.

Thompson had recommended against prison for Liang.

Gurley's aunt, Hertensia Petersen, says the outcome shows "there's no justice."

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3:05 p.m.

A former New York City police officer convicted in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell will not go to prison.

Peter Liang was convicted in February of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley at a public housing project. Gurley was walking down to the lobby and Liang was patrolling the inside of the building in 2014. Liang opened a door to the stairwell and fired his weapon once accidentally. The bullet ricocheted and struck Gurley.

On Tuesday, Judge Danny Chun reduced the manslaughter conviction to criminally negligent homicide before sentencing Liang to five years of probation and 800 hours of community service.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson had recommended Liang serve no prison, based on his record and the circumstances of the trial.

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3 p.m.

A judge has reduced the manslaughter conviction of a former New York City police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell.

Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun ruled Tuesday that ex-officer Peter Liang's conviction should be cut to the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide.

A jury convicted Liang this winter of manslaughter in the 2014 death of Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley. The verdict marked the first conviction of a New York City police officer in an on-duty shooting since 2005.

The 28-year-old rookie officer was patrolling the inside of a public housing complex when he opened the stairwell door and fired once. The bullet ricocheted and hit Gurley.

The DA's office says it will appeal the judge's decision.

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2:50 p.m.

Dozens of demonstrators have gathered outside a New York City courthouse in anticipation of a former police officer's sentencing in the deadly shooting of an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell.

Ex-officer Peter Liang is set to be sentenced Tuesday. He was convicted of manslaughter in the 2014 death of Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley.

Demonstrators representing each side were separated on Tuesday by police barriers and surrounded by court officers.

Supporters of Akai Gurley's family are demanding prison time for Liang. The officer's supporters say the shooting was an accident.

The 28-year-old rookie officer was patrolling the inside of a public housing complex when he opened the stairwell door and fired once. The bullet ricocheted and hit Gurley.

Some Liang supporters are carrying signs reading, "One tragedy, two victims."

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12:10 a.m.

A former New York City police officer will find out if he's going to prison following his manslaughter conviction in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell.

Peter Liang was fired from the police force shortly after the February jury verdict in the death of Akai Gurley. The 28-year-old rookie was patrolling the inside of a public housing project when he opened the stairwell door and fired once. Gurley, also 28, was walking down to the lobby and was struck by the bullet that had ricocheted.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has recommended probation and home confinement but not prison time, angering some members of Gurley's family.

Judge Danny Chun could still sentence Liang to prison. A manslaughter conviction carries up to 15 years behind bars.