Family of Akai Gurley to file wrongful death lawsuit

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The filing of a wrongful death lawsuit will be announced by the domestic partner of Akai Gurley, the unarmed Brooklyn man fatally shot by a New York police officer in the stairwell of the Pink Houses.

The two rookie police officers, the city and the Housing Authority will be named in the lawsuit. It will be filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

The lawsuit accuses New York City Police Department officer Peter Liang of being reckless and negligent while he and his partner, Shaun Landau, were on vertical patrol inside the East New York apartment building. It also names the Housing Authority, blaming it for poor lighting and other conditions, as well as the city.

Kimberly Ballinger, 28, is suing on behalf of her 2-year-old daughter Akaila.

In January, Gurley's family notified New York City that it intended to file a pair of lawsuits. Ballinger filed a notice of claim against the city and a separate notice of claim against the city Housing Authority. The two notices sought a total of $50 million.

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

Police Commissioner William Bratton has said Gurley was "totally innocent." Although notices of claim are precursors to filing a lawsuit, claims sometimes are settled before the actual lawsuits are filed.
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