Akai Gurley’s partner, Kimberly Ballinger’s (pictured left), will file a notice of claim to sue the city of New York for $50 million over his death Thursday, the New York Daily News reports.
Gurley was descending a dim stairwell in Brooklyn’s Pink Houses in November, when his movement allegedly startled rookie cop Peter Liang, who was patrolling the area. Liang, who had his gun drawn during the patrol, fired off a round in response, fatally hitting Gurley in the chest.
“There was no justification for this police officer having his gun out of the holster, in his hand, and his finger on or near the trigger so this shooting recklessly occurred,” commented Scott Rynecki (pictured), Ballinger’s lawyer.
“There was no threat of imminent harm by Mr. Gurley or anyone else.”
Ballinger, who has a 2-year-old daughter wiih Gurley, also plans on filing a separate notice of claim against the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). She is accusing NYCHA of negligence in failing to repair the stairwell light.
Liang and partner Shaun Landau are also named as defendants in the suit.
“I want to make sure Akai doesn’t die in vain,” Ballinger said.
The vertical patrol Liang and Landau were performing that day apparently went against their commanding officers, the News reports. Reportedly, Liang texted his union head for six minutes after shooting Gurley, instead of calling 911.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton even called Gurley “a total innocent” in the tragedy.
The city is currently looking in to the case:
“This was a tragic incident and the city will review the claim,” said Nick Paolucci, a N.Y.C. Law Department spokesman.