The 911 call placed after the police shooting of Akai Gurley was heard in court on Monday during the manslaughter trial of Officer Peter Liang.
Rookie NYPD cop Liang, 28, fatally shot the unarmed Gurley while he was walking up a dimly lit staircase in November 2014, just months after the death of Eric Garner.
Melissa Lopez, the neighbor who called 911 for Gurley’s girlfriend Melissa Butler, said she didn’t notice the officers already on the scene until a few minutes into her call with an EMS dispatch, who gave her CPR directions to pass along to Butler. Liang and his partner Shaun Landau, conflicted on what to do next, waited for several minutes before they began to assist.
Liang, who was patrolling Brooklyn’s Pink Houses complex with his partner – claimed his gun accidentally discharged, hitting Gurley in the chest. Lopez testified Monday that neither officer helped Butler during her efforts to revive her boyfriend.
Prosecutors used the testimony to further prove that Liang was too busy worrying about his job.
The frantic phone call can be heard in full in the video above. Via the NY Daily News:
“He’s not breathing!” Butler could be heard yelling.
“Are the cops there?” the EMS dispatch asked Lopez.
“Yes, they are here,” said Lopez.
“Are the cops assisting her?” the dispatcher asked.
“No, she’s alone with him, still doing CPR. I guess they are calling for backup,” said Lopez.
“The cop shot him. There’s like a million cops out here but no ambulance.”
“A police officer — this police officer — shot an innocent person. And he never even knelt down and tried to fix what he’d done,” prosecutor Marc Fliedner said in opening statements Monday.
Rae Koshetz, a member of Liang’s defense team, said the rookie officer feared for his own safety and didn’t mean to kill Gurley. Koshetz added Liang was also in a state of panic after the shooting and because of Gurley’s fatal wound, “no amount of CPR” could have saved him.
Liang has been charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. If guilty, he could face up to 15 years in jail.
Gurley’s family has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of his estate.