NYPD Shooting Leads to|Wrongful-Death Suit

     NEW YORK (CN) – The rookie police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in the stairwell of a housing project this past November was hit with a lawsuit on Thursday by the man’s girlfriend and mother of his toddler.
     According to the complaint filed in Kings County Supreme Court, Liang and his partner, co-defendant Shaun Landau, were performing an unauthorized “vertical patrol” of the housing project known as the Pink Houses on Nov. 20, 2014, when Liang fired his weapon inside a poorly lit stairway and hit Akai Gurley in the chest as the man climbed the stairs to visit his girlfriend, plaintiff Kimberly Ballinger.
     Gurley was 28 when he died.
     According to prosecutors, Liang’s first words to his partner after the shooting were, “I’m going to be fired.”
     The lawsuit accuses Liang and Landau of delaying medical help after the shooting.
     The shooting was done “without probable cause” and “performed knowingly, intentionally and willfully,” according to the 23-page complaint.
     Liang, now 27, pleaded not guilty in February to manslaughter charges. He’s due back in court in June.
     The lawsuit takes aim at the NYPD for negligent hiring and the New York Housing Authority for failing to maintain proper lighting in the building. New York City is also a named defendant in the suit, which does not specify an amount for damages.
     The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
     Ballinger her daughter, Akaila Gurley, are represented by Scott Rynecki with Rubenstein & Rynecki.

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