The Brooklyn DA announced today that there will be a grand jury convened to look into the death of the unarmed man who was fatally shot by a rookie cop in Brooklyn last month.
"I expect to present evidence regarding the November 20, 2014 shooting of Akai Gurley to a grand jury because it is important to get to the bottom of what happened," Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson said in a statement. "There is no timetable for the grand jury to be impaneled or for its determination to be reached. I pledge to conduct a full and fair investigation and to give the grand jury all of the information necessary to do its job. That information is still being gathered. As to those who have called for a Special Prosecutor to handle this case, I respectfully disagree. I was elected by the people of Brooklyn to do this job without fear or favor and that is exactly what I intend to do."
Rev. Al Sharpton, who will deliver the eulogy for Gurley tomorrow, told the Times he "didn’t know" whether an indictment was appropriate for Officer Liang. "There has to be a full investigation,” Sharpton said, adding that people "should not rush to judgment and say it is an accident when they don’t know what happened." Police Commissioner Bratton previously described the incident as an "unfortunate accident," while also calling Gurley "a total innocent."
This news comes in the wake of a damning report by the Daily News this morning, which quoted anonymous sources alleging that rookie cop Peter Liang and his partner chose to text their union representative before calling for help for the victim. The cops’ commanding officer and an emergency operator tried to contact them during this, and couldn't reach them for over six minutes, according to the News' sources.
In addition, the News claims the officers weren't even sure of what the exact address was for the Pink Houses, where the shooting occurred; and they weren't even supposed to be doing a vertical patrol (and were instructed by their commanding officer to stick to the outsides of the building or the lobby).
A spokesman from The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association denied the allegations to BuzzFeed News: "The Daily News story about the officer texting a union delegate does not appear to be true. We have over 400 delegates but the ones that serve the area he was working in did not receive any texts from him."