The trial of former NYPD officer Peter Liang began this week and more information is being made available to the public. Liang, who was patrolling Brooklyn’s Pink Houses with his partner Shaun Landau, fatally shot Akai Gurley as he was walking up a dimly lit stairwell in November 2014. At the time of the incident, New York City was in an uproar over the killing of Staten Island native Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD just months prior.
Today (January 26), the 911 call placed by neighbor Melissa Lopez for Gurley’s girlfriend Melissa Butler was played for the courtroom and it revealed that the EMS dispatch gave Lopez CPR instructions for Butler, while Liang and his partner stood by idly, contemplating what to do next. Lopez testified that neither officer assisted in her and Butler’s efforts to revive Gurley.
NY Daily News transcript:
“He’s not breathing!” Butler could be heard yelling.
“Are the cops there?” the EMS dispatch asked Lopez.
“Yes, they are here,” said Lopez.
“Are the cops assisting her?” the dispatcher asked.
“No, she’s alone with him, still doing CPR. I guess they are calling for backup,” said Lopez.
“The cop shot him. There’s like a million cops out here but no ambulance.”
Prosecutor Marc Fliedner in his opening statements:
A police officer — this police officer — shot an innocent person. And he never even knelt down and tried to fix what he’d done,” prosecutor Marc Fliedner said in opening statements Monday
Rae Koshetz, member of Liang’s defense team, said that the officer feared for his life and did not intend to kill Gurley, adding that he was in a state of panic after the shooting and “no amount of CPR” could have saved him.