NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - A dramatic scene unfolded at state Supreme Court in Downtown Brooklyn Tuesday. On one side of the courtroom, the seats were taken by family members and supporters of the late Akai Gurley. On the other, the rows were packed with the family and supporters of NYPD Officer Peter Liang, the cop who killed him.
Inside, a judge set Liang's trial to begin on January 7, 2016. Liang was indicted on 2nd degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and other charges for the fatal shooting of Gurley, 28, last November in the Pink Houses in Brooklyn. Liang and his partner were patrolling the staircase of a building in almost total darkness when Liang fired his weapon, striking Gurley, who was unarmed.
Protestors from Black Lives Matter NYC and other organizations joined Gurley's family outside court. His domestic partner Kimberly Ballinger said she will be in court every day.
Liang has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. He remains on desk duty, without his badge and gun, but with full pay.
The family has already filed a wrongful death lawsuit, which is working its way through the system. Family attorney Scott Rynecki said the upcoming trial will reveal much more about the fatal police shooting victim.
The family and their supporters said they will hold a candlelight vigil and protests on November 20, the first anniversary of Gurley's death.