Two former New York Police Department officers, Peter Liang and Shaun Landau, who were fired for misconduct in the shooting death of unarmed Akai Gurley, responded to a $50 million lawsuit by blaming the victim.
Lawyers for the rookies contend that “the alleged incident and damages, if any, were wholly or in part caused by the culpable conduct” of Gurley, according to papers filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
The suit, filed by the mother of Gurley’s 2-year-old daughter, Kimberly Ballinger, also blames the city and the New York City Housing Authority for his wrongful death. But those agencies did not allege the victim was culpable in any way.
The cops’ defense appears to be boilerplate legal language, but it doesn’t make any sense to Ballinger either way.
Meanwhile, thousands rallied in cities across the nation over the weekend in support of Liang, 28, who was found guilty of manslaughter and official misconduct earlier this month in the death of 28-year-old Gurley’s death, reports CNN:
A group calling itself the Coalition of Justice for Liang on Saturday staged rallies from Boston to Los Angeles, with supporters claiming the officer was subjected to “selective prosecution.” The group said about 100,000 people took part in 30 cities.
Protesters carried signs with messages such as “Justice not politics,” “One Tragedy, Two Victims,” and “Equal Justice, No scapegoating.”
Liang, with 18 months on the job, was on patrol in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project in November 2014 when he fired his gun. The bullet ricocheted off a wall and struck Gurley in the chest. The victim later died at a hospital.
Do you agree with protesters that Liang is a scapegoat? Sound off in comments.