"I expect to present evidence regarding the ... shooting of Akai Gurley to a grand jury because it is important to get to the bottom of what happened," District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a press release. "I pledge to conduct a full and fair investigation and to give the grand jury all of the information necessary to do its job."
Earlier Friday, Gurley's mother, Sylvia Palmer, said that "I pray to God I get justice for my son."
"My son was my heart and now he's been taken away from me," Palmer said at a press conference.
The Brooklyn district attorney's decision comes as protesters take to the streets of American cities to protest police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York. A wake was held Friday night for Gurley at Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Brooklyn.
He was "a total innocent who just happened" to run into Officer Peter Liang in a "pitch black" stairwell at the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton told reporters the day after the killing.
Liang, with less than 18 months on the job and on probationary status, has been placed on modified assignment and stripped of his gun and badge pending an investigation.
Liang and his partner were part of a "violence reduction overtime detail" at the Pink Houses, where a spate of serious crimes have been reported in recent months, including two robberies and four assaults, Bratton said.
The officers had taken an elevator to the building's top floor to check on the roof and were taking the stairs down from the eighth floor, Bratton said, when the officer discharged the weapon. There were no lights in the stairwell leading up to the roof.
Liang drew a flashlight and his weapon "for safety reasons," the police commissioner said. The other officer did not draw his gun.
In the darkened stairwell, Liang's gun discharged about the same time that Gurley, the father of a 2-year-old, and his girlfriend were entering the seventh-floor landing, Bratton said.
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat who represents large sections of Brooklyn, said told CNN Friday that the problem in many police shootings is officer training, not race relations.
He noted that Gurley was African-American and Liang is Asian-American.
Jeffries said he's pleased the grand jury investigation will occur and hopes for "an aggressive presentation of information."
And in other innocent African-American's murdered by police news.........
Samaria Rice said Monday that shefound her daughter handcuffed in the back of a police car when she got to the playground where her son was shot dead for carrying a fake gun. The daughter then told her that officers had handcuffed her when she reacted to seeing her brother bleeding on the ground, and said they would put her in the back of the car if she didn’t calm down, according to BuzzFeed.
Cleveland Police haven’t responded to an inquiry from the Cleveland Plain Dealer asking for confirmation of the new details.
Rice had been at the park playing with a toy pistol, when someone called the police reporting a kid with a gun that even they conceded was likely fake. Within seconds of arriving, Loehmann reportedly fired his gun at the child. The shooting comes as a new Justice Department investigation finds rampant police brutality, including one incident in which a 300-pound officer sat on a 13 year-old boy who weighed half as much and punched the boy in the face repeatedly while the boy was handcuffed in the back of a police car.
And employment records reveal that Loehmann was deemed “not mentally prepared to be doing firearm training” and lacking the maturity to be a police officer by his previous employer. In his application to become a Cleveland officer, he listed "under the table jobsas prior employment.
Their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, made a public request Monday that prosecutors bypass the grand jury indictment and file criminal charges against Loehmann.
Loehmann shot Rice within two seconds of getting out of his patrol car, according to surveillance video released by police.
Loehmann's partner, Frank Garmback, remained at the wheel of the car.