Akai Gurley

Family of Akai Gurley Wins Millions in Settlement with NYC

Two years after he was shot by an NYPD officer, the family gets monetary restitution for the death of the 28-year-old father

by #teamEBONY, August 16, 2016

Akai Gurley

Akai Gurley

The family of a man who was shot to death in a Brooklyn, N.Y., housing project stairwell by an NYPD officer two years ago will collect millions from New York City, a judge has ruled.

The city is paying $4.1 million and the New York City Housing Authority is contributing $400,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of 28-year-old Akai Gurley.

“I’m glad it’s all done. I’m pleased with the outcome,” Ballinger, 26, told the New York Daily News. The money will be placed in a fund for Gurley’s daughter, Akaila, which cannot be touched without a court order until she is 18.

The city’s Law Department called the settlement a “fair resolution of a tragic matter.”

Former Officer Peter Liang was on patrol in November 2014 when he opened a stairwell door at a public housing building and suddenly fired. The bullet ricocheted and hit Gurley. Liang will pay $25,000 to Kim Ballinger, the mother of Gurley’s daughter as part of the settlement.

Liang was sentenced to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service; he later apologized to Gurley’s family.

Family attorney Scott Rynecki said the parties reached the settlement “after extensive negotiations guided by Supreme Court Justice Dawn Jimenez-Salta.”

The case became a flashpoint for police accountability. The shooting came just months after the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York prompted protests and a nationwide discussion of police killings.

Read more at JETMag.com.

— With Associated Press

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