A former New York City police officer on Thursday lost a bid to set aside his manslaughter conviction for killing an unarmed black man in a darkened public housing stairwell.
State Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun in Brooklyn rejected arguments from former Officer Peter Liang’s lawyers that a juror with anti-police bias had lied in order to get onto the case.
The decision not to order a new trial clears the way for Liang’s sentencing on Tuesday, two months after he was found guilty in connection with the shooting of Akai Gurley.
Gurley, 28, died when a bullet fired from Liang’s gun on Nov. 20, 2014, ricocheted off a wall and into his chest as he walked in an unlit stairwell in a Brooklyn housing project.
The shooting added to nationwide protests in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over the use of police force against minorities, though Liang, a Chinese-American, was not accused of intentionally killing Gurley.
Liang’s conviction, meanwhile, sparked outcry among Chinese-American activists who said he was a scapegoat for police misconduct.
Following Thursday’s hearing, Liang’s supporters were confronted outside the courthouse by protesters who screamed that the former officer was a murderer.
Liang faces up to 15 years in prison, though prosecutors have recommended no prison time, drawing criticism from Gurley’s family. Read more