Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Friday, February 12, 2016

Akai Gurley Gets Justice

The Brooklyn DA did what the Queens DA failed to do in the case of Sean Bell. This is a model for future prosecution of police misconduct and negligence.

I learned from the Sean Bell case that many of us, including me at the time, considered every homicide to be a murder. We did not understand that a homicide can be many things including murder but that murder requires criminal intent. Unlike the common citizen,a police officer takes an oath to uphold the law and apprehend those engaged in criminal activity. The very job description makes it very hard to prove criminal intent when a police officer kills someone in the line of duty or under the color of law. One of the few ways you can prove such intent would be to run a sting and catch a police officer stating in no uncertain terms that what he or she is doing is against the law and they simply do not care.

Since very few police are dumb enough to get caught making such a clear statement of criminal intent, it is next to impossible to convict a police officer of murder. This is why even though Isnora shot two clips into Guzman (which IMO showed intent) he could get away with the argument that he feared for his life and all that jazz.

Hence when you go after a police officer in court you hit him with a charge that only requires neglect or disregard for life, etc.

Manslaughter and/or criminally negligent homicide is when you don't have the intent to kill anyone but through one's actions someone is dead. Furthermore it is reasonable to believe that you should have known that the actions would have lead to the death of an individual. This is the charge that Liang was found guilty of and it fits. Let's understand why:

Liang, a rookie officer who was on stairs patrol, discharged his weapon in a stairwell that is used by residents and their guests, when he heard a sound. He was startled and pulled the trigger which his finger was already on.

“I heard something on my left side ... It startled me (then) the gun just went off,” Liang testified during the trial.
Firstly, as I've said many times, guns are inanimate objects, they do not "just go off". Liang is STILL not taking responsibility for pulling the trigger. Also as others have said: if this individual was so nervous about the job, he should not have been there. After the shooting, Liang and his partner argued about who would call the shooting in and failed to give first aid to Gurley as he lay bleeding to death.
Liang said he initially thought he’d accidentally fired his weapon but not hit anyone. He and Landau bickered over who should report the screwup, and Liang eventually called his sergeant’s cell phone — instead of reporting it over the radio, which is recorded.
This would be an attempt to cover up the shooting. Liang and his partner showed a reckless disregard for the lives of residents when they let this nervous rookie walk the darkened staircase with a nervous trigger finger. As someone who often uses stairs simply because I like the exercise, I could easily have been a victim of such disregard for public safety. I'm certain that the jurors (at least some of them) could see this as well.

At this point I'd like to point out that comparisons to Eric Garner are NOT appropriate. Garner, whether we like it or not, was engaged in behavior that under NY law would lead to arrest. While we can agree that he should not have been put in a choke hold AND that laws against selling "loosies" are of questionable value, Eric Garner was going to be arrested whether he wanted to or not because he broke the law. In the case of Gurley, there were no laws broken. There was no reason for him to have any contact with a police officer and ought never have met a bullet in the staircase. He was as innocent as you get.