'Blood on your hands': Protesters demand ‘Justice for Akai’ in Brooklyn (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
African-American Akai Gurley, 28, was fatally shot by an NYPD officer, Peter Liang, on November 20, 2014, in Brooklyn at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, as police were patrolling the stairwells in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)'s houses.
The shooting was declared an accidental discharge after the investigation determined that the bullet that killed the black man ricocheted off the wall and hit the victim's chest. In February 2015, Liang was indicted by a grand jury of manslaughter and a year later was found guilty of the charge.
However in late March, the prosecuting District Attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson, recommended to Judge Danny Chun that Liang serve only house arrest and community service. On April 19, 2016, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun sentenced Peter Liang to five years of probation and 800 hours community service, after downgrading his manslaughter conviction to criminally negligent homicide.
The decision by Chung and recommendation by Thompson sparked an outrage in the African American community. On Saturday, protesters held another rally demanding "Justice for Akai".
Protesters shouted slogans and held a banner reading: "#ByeKen, blood on your hands," in reference to Thompson's recommendation, as they gathered in Brooklyn. Activists also held bloodied pieces of cloth with "Danny Chun,""Ken Thompson," and "Peter Liang" written on them.
"It's a dagger," Hertencia Petersen, Gurley's aunt, told Brooklyn's Channel 12 news. "We figured, OK, maybe we will get some type of justice, we did not get anything."