New York City has agreed to pay over $4 million to settle a wrongful death claim filed by the family of Akai Gurley, the unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a cop in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project, the New York Daily News reports. Former cop Peter Liang will pay $25,000 to Kimberly Ballinger, the mother of Gurley’s young daughter Akaila. The city’s on the hook for $4.1 million and the New York City Housing Authority is paying $400,000.
The night he died, Gurley, 28, had gone to the seventh-floor home of friend Melissa Butler. The two of them decided to go out, and because the elevator wasn’t working, took the stairs to the lobby. Liang and Landau, both 28, were performing a vertical patrol in the building and entered the pitch-dark stairwell one floor above Gurley and Butler. Liang had his gun out and his finger on the trigger, a violation of police procedure. Liang testified that he accidentally fired one shot that ricocheted off the wall and struck Gurley in the chest.