The family of the unarmed man shot and killed by a New York Police Department officer as he walked in a Brooklyn housing-project staircase has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, the New York Times reports.
Akai Gurley was fatally shot by police officer Peter Liang in November 2014. Gurley and his girlfriend were walking on the staircase in East New York’s Louis H. Pink Houses when Liang, who was on patrol with his partner, fired one deadly shot at Gurley’s chest.
Liang was on the job less than 18 months before the fatal shooting.
According to the New York Times:
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, names the police officer, Peter Liang, who shot Mr. Gurley; the officer’s partner at the time, Shaun Landau; and the New York City Housing Authority, which runs the city’s housing projects.
Kimberly Ballinger, the domestic partner of Mr. Gurley, brought the lawsuit on behalf of his estate and of their 2-year-old daughter, Akaila Gurley.
In an exclusive interview with the NY Daily News, Ballinger told the site that she and Gurley’s toddler daughter often asks if she can see her father. “She asks all the time if she can go to daddy’s house in heaven,” Ballinger said. “I say, ‘Daddy’s here, he’s in our hearts, we just can’t see him.’”
Officer Liang was indicted on second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in February, the NYT reports.
Gurley and Ballinger’s daughter will turn 3-years-old in July. Ballinger plans to have Gurley’s photos at the celebration.