Family of Akai Gurley, shot by police, files claims against New York City

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Thursday, January 29, 2015
akai gurley

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The family of an unarmed man shot by a police officer in a Brooklyn housing project stairway has notified New York City that it intends to file a pair of lawsuits.

The domestic partner of 28-year-old Akai Gurley on Thursday filed a notice of claim against the city and a separate notice of claim against the city Housing Authority. The two notices seek a total of $50 million.

The notice cite negligence, recklessness and civil rights violations in connection with Gurley's death. It names the two officers involved -- Officer Peter Liang, who fired the shots, and his partner, Officer Shaun Landau -- as well as the City of New York and the New York Police Department.

The second notice was filed against the city Housing Authority, claiming the agency failed to properly maintain the Pink Houses. The stairwell where he was killed "was not properly lit or had no lighting whatsoever," according to the notice.

"This was a tragic incident, and the city will review the claim," the city law department said in a statement.

Police Commissioner William Bratton has said Gurley was "totally innocent."

A notice of claim is a precursor to filing a lawsuit. Sometimes claims are settled before the actual lawsuits are filed.