Akai Gurley’s Mom Speaks Out Following NYPD Shooting: “My Son Didn’t Deserve To Die Like That”

December 5, 2014  |  


As New York attempts to recover following the grand jury’s failure to indict the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner, residents are also speaking out about the death of Akai Gurley. The unarmed man was fatally wounded in the chest last month by officer Peter Liang, who fired his gun into a dark stairwell in the Lous Pink Houses in Brooklyn.

28-year-old Gurley was walking down the steps with his girlfriend when Liang says that his gun accidentally went off. For the first time since her son’s passing, Gurley’s mother, Sylvia Palmer is speaking out.

“There’s nothing in this world that can heal my pain and my heartache,” a heartbroken Palmer told the New York Daily News during a press conference held at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn on Friday before her son’s wake. “I need justice for my son because my son didn’t deserve to die like that.”

“I feel like I’m lying in the morgue with him right now,” she continued. “It’s not right.”

“My son was my heart and now he’s been taken away from me.”

Disturbingly, it has been reported that while Gurley lay dying in the stairwell, Liang texted his union rep to inform him of what had happened. It was actually a neighbor who called 911 to request the assistance of emergency responders.

“He loved life more than life itself and, most importantly, he loved his mother,” Palmer went on. “The night my son was murdered, he went out to get his hair braided to come home and surprise me for Thanksgiving. Now, there will never be another Thanksgiving, another Christmas, another Valentine’s, birthday, social gatherings.”

“We believe the officers should be charged with a homicide,” local organizer Kevin Powell added. “We don’t believe it was an accident…This feels like a series of modern day lynchings.”

Evidence regarding the shooting is scheduled to be presented before a grand jury by Brooklyn prosecutor Kenneth Thompson later this month.

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  • kierah

    1. The officers were supposed to be patrolling outside – not doing verticals.
    2. Gun Training 101 – you don’t have your finger NEAR the trigger unless you are prepared to shoot.
    3. If you are that scared, then you’ve probably chosen the wrong line of work.
    4. When he shot someone, his first response should have been to get assistance for the dying man then I’d believe his whole crying routine – maybe. Those tears were for himself.
    5. His partner needs to be charged as well because his inaction co-signed on all the events. BOTH officers were out of reach for 6 minutes. What were y’all doing when you should have been calling in this incident? Answer: Getting your story straight.
    6. NYCHA will get sued for this and taxpayers will pay for this horrible tragedy ultimately. NYCHA was supposed to fix the lighting in the stairwell previously and failed to do so. Once again, taxpayers will bear the financial brunt of police incompetence. All citizens needs to be pissed that their tax dollars are given out in settlements when these cops go rogue and get sued.

  • ☥Neithhotep☥

    No one should die like that. I keep checking my calendar, and it says it’s about to be 2015, but with these police- I feel like I’m in another era waiting for Bull Connor with the hoses and dogs.

    The amount of Whiter Fear towards Black People in this world is too damned high!

  • KT

    And in 3,2,1,….this black man had the following criminal record, the community was riddled with crime , this young man was no saint, he had to have made a gesture towards this brave rookie, it was a tragic accident says the grand jury, and no indictment sine the officer feared for his life in this dark stairwell. Don’t forget in this process the cop always continue to have his paycheck. I can’t no Got Damn More …

  • Aaliyah Noelle

    Why is this officer not charged already ? He obvi knew he Fawked up Cuz instead of calling 911… He texted someone. Smmfh.
    I guess 2014 is the year to kill black men & get away with it.
    I hope that his family gets Justice. RIP

    • *Star*Bryte*

      ditto!! if they let this mf go like they did the other cop in NY, it’s going to be ugly (no indictment), talk about unrest! they better do the right thing! this clearly was an negligence on his part!!

      • Aaliyah Noelle

        It’s just disgusting how they keep letting these people get away.

        • *Star*Bryte*

          i agree, it’s heartbreaking and it sends a message that we ain’t trying 2 hear . . .

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