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Akai Gurley's Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - The family of an unarmed Brooklyn man shot by police in November has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against New York City.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, names the officer who shot Akai Gurley,  his partner and the city's Housing Authority.

Kimberley Ballinger, 28, was Gurley's domestic partner. Ballinger is suing on behalf of their 2-year-old daughter, Akaila.

Akai Gurley's Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

"I miss everything about Akai. He was a great dad, a great person. I just miss the little things that we would do with the children and the time he would spend with them," Ballinger, who also has a child from another relationship, told WCBS 880's Irene Cornell. "Everything is just difficult to deal with not having with there when you're used to another person being there."

She said the hardest part is answering her daughter's question: "Where's Daddy?"

"I tell her that even though her dad isn't in the house with us, he's there; he's in our heart, and he's always going to protect us and make sure that we're OK," Ballinger said. "And she understands that her dad is in heaven."

Police say Gurley was accidentally shot in November after opening a door in a dark stairway that Officer Peter Liang was patrolling at the Pink Houses public housing complex in East New York.

Liang was indicted in February on manslaughter and other charges.

NYCHA was named in the lawsuit because burned out lights in the stairwell had not been replaced.

The city's Law Department called the shooting a tragic accident and said it will review the claims once the lawsuit is served.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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