BROOKLYN - A judge sentenced former NYPD Officer Peter Liang Tuesday to five years of probation and 800 hours of community service for fatally shooting an East New York man.
The judge also downgraded the jury verdict that found Liang guilty of second-degree manslaughter and reduced the charge to criminally negligent homicide. The reduced charge is still a felony, but a non-violent one, according to the judge.
Liang was convicted in February of fatally shooting Akai Gurley inside a dark stairwell of the Pink Houses in 2014.
Liang was also convicted on a charge of official misconduct. As a rookie officer, he accidentally fired a gun into the darkness, and the bullet ricocheted off a wall and struck Gurley.
As Gurley lay dying, Liang did not give him CPR. But Judge Danny Chun said Liang did not mean to kill anyone when justifying the reduced charge.
Sentencing for Liang was postponed last week after a juror was accused of being biased toward police officers and admitted that his father served time in prison.
After a brief investigation, the judge decided to keep the guilty verdict and proceed with the sentencing.
District Attorney Ken Thompson earlier recommended house arrest and probation but no jail time for the former officer. Liang will not be placed under house arrest.
Before the sentencing, Liang apologized to Gurley's family and asked the judge for a second chance.
An assistant district attorney says prosecutors plan to appeal the charge reduction.
Liang's attorney says he is pleased with the sentence, but plans to appeal the conviction anyway, even after the reduction in charges.