District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced he is recommending no jail time and six months house arrest for former New York Police Officer Peter Liang in the Akai Gurley case.
In a statement, Thompson said Liang did not intend to injure or kill Gurley when his gun went off as he was patrolling the darkened stairwell of a New York public housing complex.
Thompson’s statement reads in part:
“Mr. Liang has no prior criminal history and poses no future threat to public safety. Because his incarceration is not necessary to protect the public, and due to the unique circumstances of this case, a prison sentence is not warranted.
“As I have said before, there are no winners here. But the sentence that I have requested is just and fair under the circumstances of this case. From the beginning, this tragic case has always been about justice and not about revenge.”
Liang was convicted of manslaughter just last month.
His case has been the subject of intense debate with some in the Asian American community saying Liang is a scapegoat for all the White officers who were not convicted for deaths of other unarmed Black men. Still others say if you believe those White officers should have been convicted, then you should support Liang’s conviction too.
Formal sentencing is set for April 14. It will be up to Judge Danny Chun to make the final decision. Liang could get up to 15 years in prison.
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