NY police officer charged in fatal shooting of black man

Officer Peter Liang pleads not guilty to six charges, including manslaughter.

Officer Peter Liang pleads not guilty to six charges, including manslaughter.

NEW YORK - A New York police officer was charged Wednesday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, the Brooklyn District Attorney said.

Officer Peter Liang was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of official misconduct.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Lang, 27, was patrolling a public housing complex in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood last November when he shot and killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley, who was descending a darkened stairwell.

"We do not believe he intended to kill Akai Gurley, but Akai Gurley was killed," Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said during a press conference after the arraignment.

Liang's indictment comes as New York City remains on edge following a grand jury’s decision in December not to file charges against a white police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, another unarmed black man.

The New York grand jury’s decision, along with a similar one in Missouri where a grand jury there declined to indict a white police officer in the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, have triggered nationwide protests and ignited a debate about race relations and police brutality.

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