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Letter: Stairwell shooting doesn't add up

NYPD forensic experts are examining the 9-mm bullet

NYPD forensic experts are examining the 9-mm bullet taken from the body of Akai Gurley, the Brooklyn man fatally shot by a police officer, in an effort to shed more light on what happened at the Pink Houses in East New York, a law enforcement official said. Photo Credit: Facebook

It's difficult not to second-guess NYPD Officer Peter Liang's perceived need to unholster his service handgun in the apparent absence of a direct threat ["Tragedy in stairwell, anger at his funeral," News, Dec. 7].

However, one thing can be certain: Modern handguns do not discharge if dropped or jostled, despite what you see in fictionalized TV gunplay. Handguns have passive safety mechanisms built in to prevent discharge unless the trigger is both pulled and held to the rear.

Standard training in every law enforcement academy in America instructs students to keep their fingers off the trigger unless they intend to fire. The resulting unintended fatal shooting is a tragedy for both Officer Liang and his victim, Akai Gurley.

Paul Caparatta, Oceanside

Editor's note: The writer is a retired senior firearms instructor with the U.S. Treasury Department.


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