We at PROP join other New Yorkers in expressing our deep sympathies to the family and loved ones of Akai Gurley, a ‘totally innocent’ man who was shot and killed by a NYPD officer who had his gun drawn.
We also raise serious concerns and questions about NYPD policies and practices that very likely contributed to this tragic case where another black man died at hands of a Department officer:
- Are vertical patrols – the tactic that Peter Liang, the officer who shot Mr. Gurley, was engaged in, another example of proactive, aggressive policing, like stop and frisk and “broken windows”, that do more harm than good in serving the city’s residents?
- Why were two rookie officers, Officer Liang and another officer with him, engaged in such a high-risk tactic late at night without the on-site supervision of a seasoned officer?
- Why hasn’t the NYPD patrol guide prohibited officers from drawing their guns when there is no sign of imminent danger?
The city’s political and police leaders have to do more than express their regrets about this incident. They also can not reasonably claim the shooting was “accidental” before the Brooklyn district attorney or the Department itself have conducted an investigation. A publicly stated fierce urgency should compel them to examine not only the shooting but also the NYPD’s relevant policies and to promise a transparent process that holds both Officer Liang and the Department accountable for the death of an innocent man.
Contact: Robert Gangi, 917-327-7648, firstname.lastname@example.org