The Latest: Cop seeks acquittal in stairwell shooting case


NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a New York City police officer who shot an unarmed man to death in a dark stairwell in 2014 (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

The defense has urged a jury to acquit a New York City police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man in a public housing stairwell in 2014.

Attorney Robert Brown concluded his two-hour closing argument on Tuesday at the manslaughter trial of Officer Peter Liang (lee-ANG’).

Brown says the death of Akai (ah-KEYE’) Gurley was “a terrible tragedy” and not a crime.

Liang has said his gun went off accidentally while he was patrolling the stairwell and he didn’t mean to kill anyone. The shot ricocheted off a wall and hit Gurley, who was taking the stairs down with his girlfriend rather than wait for an elevator at the Brooklyn complex.

Prosecutors say he acted recklessly and then did little to help a dying man.

___

11:05 a.m.

The defense is urging jurors not to be swayed by emotion at the trial of a rookie New York City police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man in a public housing stairwell in 2014.

Peter Liang’s (lee-ANGZ’) lawyer, Robert Brown, said in closing arguments Tuesday that there’s “no doubt” the officer’s bullet took the life of an innocent man, Akai (ah-KEYE’) Gurley.

But he says Liang didn’t mean to kill anyone — and radioed for help as soon as he realized someone had been shot.

The officer testified Monday at his manslaughter trial that he didn’t know anyone was in the pitch-black stairway when he accidentally fired. The shot ricocheted off a wall and hit Gurley.

___

8 a.m.

The rookie police officer who shot an unarmed man in a dark public housing stairwell says what happened was a deadly accident. Prosecutors call it manslaughter and say he acted recklessly and then did little to help the dying man.

Jurors will start discussing their views of Officer Peter Liang’s actions as soon as Tuesday. Closing arguments are expected in the morning, and deliberations are likely to begin in the afternoon.

Liang says he didn’t know anyone was in the pitch-black stairway when he unintentionally fired. The shot ricocheted off a wall and hit 28-year-old Akai Gurley.

Liang testified Monday he was patrolling with his gun drawn and his finger on the weapon’s side when a noise startled him. He says he “just turned, and the gun went off.”

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU