NEW YORK – This week’s shooting of two New York City police officers in a public housing stairwell has become an issue in another officer’s manslaughter trial.
The judge in Officer Peter Liang’s trial on Friday barred any mention of Thursday’s shootings in the Bronx. Officers Patrick Espeut and Diara Cruz were wounded by a gunman who later killed himself.
Liang’s lawyers argue the situation shows the dangers of the setting he encountered while patrolling a different public housing complex stairwell in 2014. After a door opened in a pitch-dark stairwell, Liang fired a bullet that ricocheted off a wall and killed Akai (uh-KY’) Gurley. Gurley was unarmed.
Prosecutors say Liang’s case and Thursday’s shootings are very different.
Liang’s lawyers say the shooting was accidental. Prosecutors say he handled his weapon recklessly.