Mr. Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old black man from Brooklyn, was shot and killed this week by a new police officer in what is being called an “unfortunate tragedy.” Yet Gurley’s stepfather is understandably angry about the accident, saying he is “p***** off,” and the New York community at large also seems full of unrest over the situation. Canada Journal News shares the latest on this breaking story this Saturday, November 22, 2014.
While leaving a housing complex, Akai Gurley was said to be fatally shot. He was unarmed and involved in no criminal activity at the time, confirms the report. It seems in this sad case that the black man was killed by a rookie cop for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but not everyone is so sure. Gurley was leaving the Brooklyn apartment with his girlfriend by his side; this particular housing area where the accident occurred is known for its high crime rate.
“What happened last night was a very unfortunate tragedy,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said, The Associated Press reported. “The deceased is totally innocent. He just happened to be in the hallway. He was not engaged in any criminal activity.”
According to the press release, the shooting took place this Thursday night. Two inexperienced police officers, with one identified as Peter Liang of the NYPD, age 26, were in the middle of patrolling the East New York neighborhood. Details about Gurley’s death and the circumstances surrounding the shooting “accident” are still actively investigated by local authorities
What is known at this time, adds News Max this week in their coverage, is that the 28-year-old Akai’s stepfather is angry and wants answers. The New York Police Department normally assigns rookie officers to help patrol crime-plagued sections of the city, including Brooklyn, where violence is at its highest. The particular housing project — where Akai Gurley was shot and the home of his girlfriend — was said to have had several criminal thefts and shootings in recent months.
When the police officers heard of a disturbance and were climbing to the landing on the eighth floor, they encountered Gurley, who was walking down the stairwell with his girlfriend. The area’s lights were out, so it was completely dark at the time, and both new cops consequently were forced to use their flashlights to see.
Although it remains unknown at this time why, Liang had his gun in hand and ready to shoot. He was apparently only several feet away from Akai Gurley when his weapon when off — by accident, says the report. Police officers in the New York are allowed to have their guns drawn if they deem it necessary depending on the situation, notes the source. The rookie police officer’s shot unfortunately found his mark, hitting Gurley.
The 28-year-old black man’s girlfriend, identified yesterday as Melissa Butler, said she was simply walking with her partner when the fatal shooting took place. The woman says they were simply having a nice night and she had just finished braiding his hair.
“He didn’t do nothing wrong,” Butler said. “He was just standing there, and they shot him.”
Akai Gurley died in the accident. He was rushed to a local hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. The 28-year-old’s stepfather, Kenneth Palmer, is angry at what happened, and does not understand the situation. He was said to be shocked when he heard the news of his stepson’s passing.
“What’s hitting me on the head right now is how it happened,” affirmed Palmer to a media outlet in a statement. “The mood I’m in is pissed off.”
The family of the victim in this accident are now being given the chance to speak out about the matter as an investigation is pending about the police officer’s actions. Gurley’s mother, as well as the mother of his daughter — she is not the girlfriend Gurley was with at the time— have been summoned to the Reverend Al Sharpton’s Action Network headquarters in Harlem to give a statement.