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New York Officer Charged in Akai Gurley’s Fatal Shooting Goes on Trial

from The New York Times – January 25, 2016

Peter Liang

Officer Peter Liang, who faces charges in the 2014 shooting death of Akai Gurley, leaving State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on Monday. Credit Bryan R. Smith for The New York Times

At about 11 o’clock on the night of Nov. 20, 2014, Melissa Lopez was in her kitchen in the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York. Her partner was getting ready for his workday, which started at midnight, and her two girls were in their rooms.

She heard a single gunshot from the stairwell, which was next to her apartment. A couple of minutes later there was a knock at her apartment door.

“I paused for a second; me and my husband looked at each other,” she testified Monday in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. When she looked through the peephole, she saw a woman she knew from the building, Melissa Butler.

“Akai Gurley is dead today because he crossed paths with Peter Liang, who is sitting here,” Marc J. Fliedner, a prosecutor who is the chief of the civil rights bureau at the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, said in his opening statement, which at one point found him on his knees, demonstrating how Ms. Butler had bent over Mr. Gurley’s body.

Read the full story on the New York Times website.

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Brooklyn creep gets 20 years for brutal plexiglass attack on transgender woman

from New York Daily News – January 14, 2016

Mashawn Sonds, 26, (in gray sweater)

Mashawn Sonds, 26, (in gray sweater) claimed that he knew a juror in his trial. (BYRON SMITH/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Before a Brooklyn man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for seriously injuring a transgender woman, he made a last ditch effort to throw out the verdict by revealing he knew a juror.

Mashawn Sonds was quickly found guilty by a jury last month for swinging a two-by-four piece of plexiglass at Kimball “Kimy” Hartman’s head in October 2014 after his co-defendant Tyquan Eversley verbally and physically assaulted her with anti-gay slurs.

Sonds faced up to 25 years in prison for first-degree assault as a hate crime charge, but Assistant District Attorney Marc Fliedner recommended for Justice Danny Chun to sentence Sonds to 20 years.

Read the full story on the Daily News website.

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