Former NYPD officer Peter Liang’s new attorneys filed a written motion Tuesday to set aside his conviction of manslaughter and official misconduct in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in Brooklyn.
Liang was charged with reckless manslaughter in February after killing an unarmed Black man, Akai Gurley, in a Brooklyn apartment building.
Atlanta Blackstar reported that Liang expressed concern about performing a routine patrol in the crime-ridden Brooklyn housing project where he accidentally shot Gurley, who was killed after the officer’s gun was discharged struck him. Liang also reportedly argued with his partner over calling for help as Gurley died from the gunshot.
Liang was criticized for his callousness in the matter. Multiple reports say he did not perform CPR on Gurley, but this new development claims he wasn’t required to do so, according to his training.
NBC News reports that the 21-page memorandum of law was submitted by attorneys Paul Shechtman and Gabriel J. Chin.
“The new motion proposes that Liang did not recklessly cause Akai Gurley’s death on November 20, 2014, and that police procedures did not require Liang to administer CPR to Gurley, a procedure in which Liang’s attorneys say the rookie officer was ‘grossly inadequately’ trained,” according to their report.
Liang’s supporters believe the former officer is a scapegoat and has been taken advantage of.
— Chinese American (@ChineseOrg) February 22, 2016
— CNforPeter (@CNforPeter) February 23, 2016
“If the People continue to press a ‘he-should-have-performed-CPR’ theory in response to this motion, it would be to punish an officer for not performing a task that he was not trained to do,” Liang’s attorneys wrote.
— Meejin (@skwishmeej) March 16, 2016
Notice Akai Gurley is mentioned nowhere. They're not sending condolences, they're saying if this happens again, we'll be ready to defend US.
— 無感覚 (@MalePocahontas) March 11, 2016
Liang faces an uphill battle. Many Asian-American groups have come out to support him, even though he will more than likely go to prison. Black Lives Matter protesters have been pushing for justice since last year in this case because Gurley was an innocent, unarmed man who died from police negligence and incompetence.
Liang faces up to 15 years in prison when sentenced on April 14 by Judge Danny Chun.