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Former NYPD Officer Peter Liang Gets Probation For Fatal Shooting

Peter Liang pictured on Feb. 9, during his trial. He was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed Akai Gurley in 2014.
Peter Liang pictured on Feb. 9, during his trial. He was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed Akai Gurley in 2014.

A judge in New York City has sentenced former NYPD officer Peter Liang, who was convicted of manslaughter and official misconduct last month in the 2014 fatal shooting of Akai Gurley, to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service.

Justice Danny Chun also reduced the manslaughter conviction to criminally negligent homicide, NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports, adding that prosecutors say they will appeal that decision.

At a hearing last month, prosecutors recommended that Liang, serve six months of house arrest and complete 500 hours of community service.

As the Two-Way previously reported:

"The rookie officer was patrolling a housing project in Brooklyn when Liang said he fired by accident after a noise startled him in a darkened stairwell. The bullet ricocheted off a wall and killed unarmed black man Akai Gurley, 28. Liang was also faulted for not immediately aiding his victim."

A prosecutor said, "this is simply not a case of police brutality" and Liang's defense lawyer called the shooting a "tragic accident," Hansi reported.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: April 19, 2016 at 12:00 AM EDT
A previous version of this story said Peter Liang's sentence included house arrest. That was incorrect. He was sentenced to probation and community service.