The NYPD rookie cop who accidentally shot and killed an unarmed man in a housing project stairwellin 2014 will take the stand at his upcoming Brooklyn criminal trial, his lawyer said Monday.
Peter Liang, 28, is facing manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and other charges for discharging his gun inside a dark stairwell while on “vertical patrol” in the Pink Houses in East New York.
The bullet ricocheted off a wall and struck Akai Gurley, 28, in the chest on the landing below.
“It’s a tragic accident but he committed no crime,” said Liang’s attorney Rae Koshetz.
Liang will appear in Brooklyn Supreme Court Tuesday for a pre-trial hearing on the admissibility of statements he made shortly after the fatal shooting.
Jury selection will begin on Thursday.
Liang’s partner, Shaun Landau, is also expected to testify against him after receiving immunity from prosecution last year.Akai GurleyPhoto: Facebook
After the shot was fired, the two cops argued for two minutes over who should report the accident — as Gurley lay dying in the staircase below, according to previous court papers.
“You call,” Liang allegedly said.
“No, you call,” Landau replied.
Prosecutors have said neither cop tried to help or resuscitate Gurley.
The mother of Gurley’s young daughter, Kimberly Ballinger, has a negligence lawsuit pending in Brooklyn Supreme Court against the city and NYCHA.