Akai Gurley, the young black man, who was fatally shot in the stairway of a housing complex in East New York, on Nov. 20, might have had a chance of surviving his wounds if the cop who pulled the trigger had called for help instead of texting his union representative.
A Police source says that after the shooting took place, a neighbor who heard the ruckus called 911. A commanding officer and emergency operator then tried to reach Peter Liang, the rookie cop who fired the shot and his partner Shaun Landau for six minutes but were unable to make contact.
The source told the New York Daily News that it was unacceptable that both cops purposely ignored the radio call, and decided to reach out to their union rep instead, “That’s showing negligence”.
The neighbor’s 911 call was reportedly what alerted authorities to the incident.
28-year-old Gurley was unarmed and posed no threat to the officers who intersected him and his girlfriend as they were headed down the stairwell.
NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters that Gurley was an innocent victim and that it is very likely Liang fired his gun by accident. He also confirmed that both Liang and Landau were not supposed to have been patrolling the stairway that day since it wasn’t part of their regular itinerary.
A source also told the Daily News that based on the text messages sent by Liang, it was evident that he didn’t know the address of the building where the shooting took place.
The case has been assigned to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson who is preparing evidence to present to the grand jury.