Updated 2/11 12:00pm
The St. Louis County and Richmond County District Attorney offices might want to take note: Because, so far, it looks like Brooklyn’s District Attorney office will not be playing the no-cop-indictment game.
Rookie NYPD officer Peter Liang was indicted on Tuesday by a Brooklyn grand jury in the death of 28-year-old Akai Gurley, who was shot on November 20 of last year in a stairwell at the Pink Houses in East New York, Brooklyn, reported NY1 News.
An indictment is not a prosecution. It is simply a decision to try the case. In fact, it is unusual for a district attorney not to seek an indictment in a shooting death case, which is why the failure to indict the officers in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases was so alarming.
Borough President Eric Adams says Officer Liang’s indictment will allow the judicial process to move forward, a process that should be fair and transparent:
“An indictment helps to restore public confidence in our legal system, a confidence that was thoroughly shaken following the outcome of the Eric Garner case in Staten Island,” said Adams. “It is my continued hope that the death of Akai Gurley will give life to much-needed reforms that will make the community and law enforcement alike safer.”
Liang is now facing charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and two counts of official misconduct.
City Councilmember Robert Cornegy said the Gurley case is evidence that healing can come from the fair operation of the criminal justice system.
“The people of Brooklyn elected District Attorney Ken Thompson to enforce the criminal law zealously and impartially,” said Cornegy. “Here again, with the indictment of Officer Liang, our DA has evidenced his commitment to carry out that charge.
“Today, I join the people of Brooklyn in breathing a sign of relief that in this case, the legal system has not added insult to the Gurley family’s injury.”