New York City has agreed to settle a lawsuit with the family of Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28 year-old man who was shot and killed in a stairwell by a New York police officer in 2014. According to a recent report, the family will receive $4.5 million for the death, which sparked demonstrations around the city.
Gurley was killed on the night of November 20, 2014 after being struck by a bullet that ricocheted off a wall in the unlit stairwell in a public housing building. The shot was fired by New York Police Officer Peter Liang, who claimed that he accidentally fired his weapon after being startled while he was patrolling the building with his partner, Shaun Landau. Landau was also fired after Liang was charged for the shooting.
“We believe this is a fair resolution of a tragic matter,” said a spokesperson for the city of New York.
A little over $4 million of the settlement will come from the city of New York while the New York City Housing Authority and Officer Liang will be responsible for the rest. Officer Liang was originally convicted of manslaughter for the death back in February but upon appeal, the charge was reduced to a lesser felony allowing him to complete 800 hours of community service, sparking criticism from anti-police brutality groups.