Funeral held for Akai Gurley in Brooklyn
Family and friends gathered Saturday for the funeral of Akai Gurley, who was shot to death by an NYPD officer last month in Brooklyn's East New York neighborhood.
Gurley, 28, was killed on Nov. 20 at the Pink Houses. Investigators say rookie Officer Peter Liang fired the fatal shot during what NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton described as an "unfortunate accident."
At the funeral, Gurley's brother read a poem through tears as emotions ran high. Church leaders were present to offer their condolences and support to the family.
The pastor of Brown Memorial Baptist Church thanked Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson for his support of the family.
Family members say Gurley's nickname since childhood was "Blessed," and that he will now eternally remain that way.
The family also thanked Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city for claiming responsibility in Gurley's death, and for covering all costs related to the funeral, although they say it could never take away their pain.
Officer Liang has since been stripped of his gun and badge pending an investigation. Thompson says he will convene a grand jury in this case, but it could take months for that to happen.