[Ed. – Riots in 5, 4, …]
A former police officer who shot an unarmed man to death in a darkened stairwell was spared prison time Tuesday, and a judge reduced his manslaughter conviction to a lesser charge in a case that became a flashpoint for police accountability.
Peter Liang was sentenced to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service in the 2014 shooting of Akai Gurley, who was walking down a public housing stairway when Liang, a rookie officer, fired a bullet into the dark — by accident after being startled, he said. The bullet ricocheted and killed Gurley, 28.
Speaking softly, Liang told the court he never meant to fire and apologized to Gurley’s family.
“My life is forever changed,” he added. “I hope you give me a chance to rebuild it.”