NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer has taken the stand to give his account of the deadly shooting of an unarmed man in a Brooklyn stairwell.
Officer Peter Liang (lee-ANG’) began testifying Monday in his own defense. He’s charged with manslaughter in the 2014 death of Akai (ah-KEYE’) Gurley.
Liang began by describing what are called “vertical patrols” in stairwells. He noted that public housing stairways can be sites of crime and danger.
Liang and his partner were patrolling a darkened stairway in a Brooklyn housing complex when Liang fired. The bullet ricocheted and hit Gurley a flight below.
Liang’s lawyers say the shooting was an accident, not a crime.
Prosecutors say Liang handled his weapon recklessly and did nearly nothing to help Gurley after realizing what had happened.
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