‘Tough’ Trial Expected for Cop Charged in Stairwell Shooting


James A. Cohen was quoted in the New York Law Journal about the upcoming trial of NYPD officer Peter Liang, who is being charged with second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Akai Gurley.

James Cohen, a professor at Fordham University School of Law, who heads the school’s trial advocacy program, said jurors could be sympathetic to Liang’s rookie status. At the same time, a defense obstacle was a “perception in communities of color, of which Brooklyn is one, that police shoot at anything that moves and ask questions later.”

Nevertheless, Cohen said, the prosecution’s burden was “slightly more uphill than the defense” because even in poor communities with police friction, officers were still seen as a “protector” in dangerous neighborhoods.

Read the full piece.


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