Officer Peter Liang’s partner was fired Friday by NYPD Commissioner William Bratton — one day after Liang was himself sacked following his conviction for the 2014 stairwell shooting death of Akai Gurley, officials said.
Like Liang, Shaun Landau was a probationary officer who could be fired by the commissioner for any reason for up to 24 months after joining the NYPD.
Landau had been on the force about 18 months at the time of the incident and was fired at Bratton’s discretion, a department spokesman said.
Liang was fired immediately on Thursday night after a Brooklyn state court jury convicted him of manslaughter in the death of Gurley in November 2014.
Trial evidence showed that a single bullet from Liang’s service weapon ricocheted and struck Gurley, who was walking in an unlit stairway at the Louis H. Pink public housing project.
Liang’s defense was that his handgun accidentally discharged after he was startled by a noise coming from the darkened stairwell.
Landau, who wasn’t criminally charged, testified at the trial. Evidence showed that both officers delayed calling for medical assistance after Gurley was mortally wounded.
Landau’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. Liang faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced April 14.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday dismissed warnings from an NYPD union that Liang’s conviction would have a chilling effect on patrols.
The mayor said the NYPD would continue vertical patrols in housing projects, in which police officers climb and descend building staircases to search for wrongdoing.
“Vertical patrols are necessary as part of keeping our public housing residents safe,” de Blasio told reporters.
The head of the rank-and-file officers’ union, Patrick Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said Liang’s conviction “absolutely will have a chilling effect on every New York City police officer wondering how is it we are supposed to do our job in this anti-police atmosphere.”
De Blasio declined to say whether he thinks Liang should serve prison time.
With Matthew Chayes