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NYC reaches $4M settlement in stairwell shooting case

NYC reaches $4M settlement in stairwell shooting case

Liang will pay $25,000 to the mother of Gurley's daughter. The city is liable for $4.1 million to the NY man's family, while the housing authority will pay another $400,000.

Negotiations over the settlement lasted two months, under the supervision and approval of Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dawn Jimenez-Salta.

Rookie Officer Peter Liang was patrolling the area, when he opened the stairwell door and began firing his gun.

The wrongful death suit filed by Ballinger charged Liang and his partner Shaun Landau of negligence and recklessness and NYCHA for failure to fix a light bulb in the stairwell that was pitch black at the time of the shooting.

Liang, a rookie officer, was on patrol inside a Brooklyn public housing project with his partner and drew his gun upon entering a pitch-black stairwell. Liang said he accidentally fired his weapon when he heard a noise in a darkened stairwell.

On the night he was shot and killed, Gurley had stepped into the stairwell from the seventh floor of the building with Melissa Butler, his girlfriend at the time. The bullet ricocheted off the wall and hit Gurley in the heart.

A neighbor called 911 and relayed CPR instructions to Butler as the two cops argued. Instead, Liang reportedly chose to text a union representative during that time.

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In addition, neither officer knew how to perform CPR. This clench can exert 30 pounds of pressure, far more than is required to fire a handgun, even those equipped with "New York" triggers required by the NYPD in place of proper training.

The judge ordered Liang should not go to prison and instead should be placed on five years' probation with 800 hours of community service.

The officer has appealed the criminal conviction, but the decision in that case will not impact the settlement.

The $4.1 million will be paid out in structured settlements to Akaila, starting when she turns 18 years old, though Ms. Ballinger may petition the court to receive a small portion, perhaps in the form of a monthly stipend, Mr. Rynecki said. "But the money will be invested in rock-solid annuities that will actually provide the girl with an estimated $10 million over the course of her lifetime".

"We believe this is a fair resolution of a tragic matter", said a spokesperson for the City Law Department in a statement.

Gurley's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in May 2015. Garner died after an undercover police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, put him in a chokehold in July 2014.

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