Friday, November 21, 2014

NYPD Rookie Kills Unarmed Innocent Who Took Stairs

In a continuation of earlier coverage, The Jaded Consumer notes that NYPD rookie Peter Liang killed Akai Gurley with one shot to the chest when he and his girlfriend decided not to wait for an elevator but to use the stairs.  There, he was shot by the uniformed officer while doing nothing but trying to walk down the stairs.  Although many of the news accounts do not discuss the race of the participants, New York Daily News published a photo that makes clear that Akai Gurley was African American.

The witness Melissa Butler, who entered the stairway with Gurley, reported that officers never identified themselves, never gave any warning, fired without provocation, and called for no medical assistance.  Butler and Gurley fled the gunshot until Gurley collapsed, dead, three floors below.  No ambulance was summoned until Butler called one after pounding on a neighbor's door.

When asked about killing Gurley with a single gunshot to the chest, Officer Liang said, "I shot him accidentally."


In other news, crime in New York is down.  Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected last year on a platform that included reigning in the NYPD's stop-and-frisk practice that in 2011 targeted minorities so heavily that 87% of frisk subjects were African American or Latino.  Contrary to assertions that reforming the NYPD's stop-and-frisk practices would "end in buckets of blood on city streets[,]" a 75% drop in police stops – from about 700,000 in 2011 to 50,000 this year – has not prevented New York's murder count to drop by 20 deaths compared to the same period last year.  New York City's crime rate hit a 20-year low.  The NYPD's stop-and-frisk practices were ruled unconstitutional last year.

Maybe the way to reduce crime isn't to escalate oppression.  Who knew?

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