Calls to Improve NYPD Officers Medical Training
The family of Akai Gurley, a man who was shot and killed in the Brooklyn housing project, received $4.5 million in their wrongful death lawsuit against NYPD and New York City. Rookie NYPD Officer Peter Liang shot Mr. Gurley when a steel door slammed and startled the officer who in response fired a shot which ricocheted into a dark stairwell. Following the shot, NYPD Officer Liang stood by Mr. Gurley as Mr. Gurley bled out, while Mr. Gurley’s girlfriend dialed 911 and was coached by the responder on how to perform CPR. When asked why Mr. Liang had not assisted in aiding Mr. Gurley, Liang responded that he was not properly trained. Gurley’s family has asked that NYPD appoint an independent entity to review NYPD’s training policies and procedures so that police officers will be prepared to deal with medical emergencies after gunshot incidents.
The issue of Police Officers providing medical assistance was also highlighted in the recent deadly shooting of Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A video of the police shooting Mr. Crutcher, which has received widespread national coverage, shows officers waiting two minutes to attend to Mr. Crutcher. In the video, the Officers appear to put on medical gloves, but instead of performing CPR or applying pressure to the gunshot wound they start to search him. Understandably, there have been calls across the United States for Police Officers to be trained to deal with medical emergencies after shootings.