Officer Peter Liang, the Asian rookie NYPD cop who is accused of shooting and killing Black unarmed Brooklyn man Akai Gurley, has opted to have his case heard by a jury. As the selection of the jury is still days away, testimony was heard today in court regarding evidence and statements made by Liang after the 2014 incident.
The New York Daily News reports:
The rookie cop accused of killing an unarmed man in a dimly lit Brooklyn stairway was “unsteady on his feet and incoherent” in the minutes after the shooting, his supervisor testified Tuesday.
“I shot him by accident,” Lt. Vitaliy Zelokov quoted Officer Peter Liang as saying when he got to the scene of the Nov. 20, 2014, shooting inside the Pink Houses.
Liang then pointed to the fifth floor, where Akai Gurley, 28, was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Zelokov said he took Liang’s gun away from him — and saw Gurley lying on the ground.
A friend of Gurley’s, Melissa Butler, was desperately trying to perform CPR on him.
“I told her to get off the injured person and instructed another officer to take over,” Zelokov said.
Lt. Zelokov testified at a hearing to determine if Liang’s gun and the statements he made after the shooting took place will be used as evidence during his upcoming trial. He added that Liang was “unsteady” and “incoherent” when officers arrived on the scene after the shooting. Zelokov maintained that Liang wasn’t in a state to aid Gurley and was possibly in shock.
Liang’s defense team dropped requests to exclude the gun and statements as evidence after the testimony.
The framework for the trial is still being constructed, but opening statements are slated to be heard on Jan. 25.
SOURCE: New York Daily News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty