NYC to Pay Akai Gurley’s Family $4.1 Million

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New York City will pay more than $4 million to the family of Akai Gurley, a Brooklyn man who was killed by a ricocheting bullet after a patrolling police officer fired a shot in a pitch dark stairwell two years ago. The officer, Peter Liang, who claimed he fired his gun by accident, will pay an additional $25,000 while the New York City Housing Authority will pay $400,000, owing to the fact that the stairwell was not properly lit. Liang was initially convicted of involuntary manslaughter and fired by the police department, but the conviction was later reduced to criminally negligent homicide, and he escaped jail

time. The officer was performing a patrol in the building and had his gun out and his finger on the trigger, a violation of NYPD procedure, when he entered the dark stairwell one floor above Gurley and fired a shot which ricocheted off a wall and hit Gurley in the chest. “The shot was accidental,” Liang said to Gurley’s family at the sentencing. “My life has forever changed.” Read more at the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.



  1. What a waste of valuable NYC taxpayer’s money!
    This guy was a thug and in order to get this drek off the streets, I guess, we’re מסכים to pay a lil bit of money.

  2. Peter Liang should never have been a police officer. As a nervous and jittery young man, he had his gun out with his finger on the trigger in violation of NYPD regulations when he accidentally fired his weapon and killed an innocent young man. What was even worse in the opinion of many was the fact that he didn’t even attempt to help the fatally injured young man he’d shot, but instead worried about himself and his own future. (Personally, I have mixed feelings about whether Liang should’ve gone to prison – on the one hand it was a complete accident that he regrets bitterly, but on the other hand his recklessness caused the accident and he didn’t render aid afterward.)

    Hopefully this settlement is a comfort to the Gurley family and will help Gurley’s young daughter.

  3. What a waste of valuable taxpayer money. Was this grizzly beast’s life worth that much!?
    I guess NYC’s streets are safer without this gurley thing in our midst and that’s worth noney!

  4. People should get their heads around the fact that just being African-American doesn’t make you a “thug.” Akai Gurley was a perfectly unremarkable young man who was simply walking up the stairs in his building, which were poorly lit because the city was negligent. He wasn’t threatening anyone, walking down the street looking “tough,” or menacing a police officer. He was just walking up the stairs and didn’t even know there were police officers above.

    The second poster is right – Liang should never have been a police officer. A good accountant or high school teacher, maybe, but definitely not in a job that requires steady nerves and controlled reactions. The real culprit is the person who cleared his hiring.

  5. Liang made a mistake which caused the loss of a human life and the city, his employer, is paying. This is no different than a vehicle accident; do we check out people’s criminal records and reduce compensation accordingly? Of course not.

    On the other hand, I don’t see Liang as being unfit as an officer, or at least, no less fit than average. Yes indeed he made a terrible mistake and also he should not have violated guidelines, but let us be realistic, had he been an awesome shooter with steady nerves and perfectly controlled reactions under pressure, he’d be a marksman at the olympics, making a load of money and getting applauded by people worldwide. And by the way, without risking his life.


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