Black Cop kills a black teen. What should be done?
28-year-old Akai Gurley was fatally shot by NYPD officer Peter Liang on November 20, 2014, in Brooklyn. The shooting was declared an accidental discharge; the bullet ricocheted off the wall and Gurley was struck once in the chest and later died at Brookdale University hospital.
On February 10, 2015, officer Liang was found guilty of manslaughter, assault, and other criminal charges.
“We’re not rejoicing,” Gurley’s aunt Hertencia Petersen said. “But it’s about being accountable. It’s about a girl who will never know her father.”
The officer quickly buried his head in his hands after the verdict was said, because he could be facing up to 15 years in prison. However, we must understand that this verdict of guilty is not a guarantee that the cop will be appropriately punished. He faces up to 15 years in prison, but it doesn’t mean he will serve all 15 years. He can even serve only one year or less, which can’t be considered an equivalent punishment.
This case is unprecedented, because usually the charges against police officers are dropped. Liang is the first NYPD cop to be convicted of a police-involved shooting in a decade.
According to statistics, the police killed a total of about 1000 people in 2015.