Rookie NYPD cop ‘texted union rep’ as victim lay dying in stairway instead of calling help

The NYPD police officer who shot an unarmed man in a Brooklyn housing development texted his union representative as his victim lay dying, it has been claimed.

After Peter Liang shot Akai Gurley on November 20, he and his partner Shaun Landau were in communication for more than six and a half minutes.

During this time Liang’s superior officer and an emergency operator who had fielded the 911 call about the shooting, tried in vain to reach the rookie policemen.

A source told the New York Daily News that Liang’s behaviour showed ‘negligence’.

He said: ‘The guy is dying and you still haven’t called it in?’

The officers were also uncertain of their exact location, the newspaper reported, something that further hampered emergency services response to the death.

The details of what happened in the aftermath of the shooting are at the centre of an investigation by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson. He is expected to present evidence to a grand jury as early as the end of this month, but has already called the death ‘deeply troubling’ and has promised a ‘thorough investigation’.

Gurley, 28, was pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital shortly after the shooting and his death has been ruled a homicide. He is to be laid to rest tomorrow.

His mother, Sylvia Parker, and stepfather, Kenneth Palmer, are scheduled to make their first public statements today.

Liang and Landau were not supposed to be patrolling near the the stairwells of the housing block when the shooting occurred. Instead police chiefs had called for officers to stick to exterior patrols – so officers could be seen on the beat – following a spike in violent crime in the area.

The shooting happened after Liang opened a door while holding a flashlight in his right hand along with a Glock 9-mm.

The gun fired and hit Gurley in the chest as he walked with his girlfriend Melissa Butler, 27, some 12 feet below the officer.

Liang was then said to have told Landau, ‘I think I’m going to get fired’, before he had even noticed that the bullet had ricocheted and hit Gurley. It wasn’t until the men saw Butler sobbing over her boyfriends body that they realised what had occurred.

Butler then ran to a neighbour’s and called 911 saying she ‘feared for her life’. When the two officers returned to radio communication they reported an accidental discharge.

Lt. Vitaliy Zelikov, who arrived on the scene in the aftermath, said Liang was ‘visibly upset, shaken up and clearly very distraught’.

On Monday, Butler met with the DA Thompson. He had also met with community leaders on Sunday after more than 250 people marched in protest outside Liang’s 75th Precinct the day before calling for justice.

The Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD has also launched an investigation into the shooting of Gurley, Commissioner Bill Bratton called a ‘total innocent.’

Gurley, who has been described as a ‘peacemaker,’ was the father to a two-year-old daughter, Akaila.

Source: The DailyMail

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