Another fatal case of excessive force in New York has claimed the life of an innocent young man. Akai Gurley was shot and killed on November 20th in a dimly-lit stairwell in Brooklyn. The shooter was a rookie NYPD officer who claims he never meant to pull the trigger. Indeed, the police commissioner issued a statement saying the fatal shot was caused by an accidental discharge.
At roughly 11 p.m., Mr. Gurley and a female friend entered the stairwell of the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York, Brooklyn. The two were ascending the staircase at the same time as the unnamed officer and his partner (both rookies) were descending from the eighth floor. Somehow a single shot discharged from the officer’s weapon and struck Gurley in the chest. Gurley was rushed to a nearby hospital but doctors were unable to resuscitate him.
This case of accidental excessive force in New York City is just the latest in a long line of high-profile cases against officers of the NYPD. Despite the Police Commissioners efforts to remake the NYPD’s public image, more and more examples of excessive force, unwarranted brutality, and policy violations are coming to light in the wake of national incidents like the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the chokehold death of Eric Garner right here in New York.
Many protestors are claiming that race plays a significant role in these recent police-related fatalities as the officers in most of these cases are white and the victims, black or other non-white ethnicities.
If a NYPD police officer claims the life of an individual because of excessive force, that officer, the NYPD and the City of New York should be held financially and/or criminally responsible for the death. This includes hospital bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, dependent support, and pain and suffering commensurate with the time the individual survived.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one to excessive force, contact a New York City excessive force attorney immediately to discuss your case. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.