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Peter Liang's NYPD CPR Instructor Stripped of Badge and Gun, Reports Say

By John Santore | March 9, 2016 12:54pm
 The NYPD officer who taught CPR to Peter Liang's class has been placed on administrative duty, according to reports.
The NYPD officer who taught CPR to Peter Liang's class has been placed on administrative duty, according to reports.
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Pool/Byron Smith

CIVIC CENTER — The CPR instructor who trained former officer Peter Liang has been stripped of her badge and gun, according to reports.

Officer Melissa Brown, 35, who had been working for the New York Police Academy, was reassigned due to an ongoing investigation into her CPR instruction, according to an NYPD spokesman. 

She was specifically working in the NYPD's Recruit Training section before she was assigned to administrative duty Monday, the New York Times reported.

"A police officer assigned to the New York City Police Academy has been placed on modified assignment as the result of an ongoing internal investigation into CPR instruction," the spokesman told DNAinfo.

The NYPD would not confirm on Wednesday that Brown had taught CPR to Liang's class. 

On Feb. 11, Liang was found guilty of manslaughter after fatally shooting Akai Gurley in a Brooklyn housing project in 2014.

Neither Liang nor his partner, former officer Peter Landau, performed CPR on Gurley during the night of the shooting — leaving Gurley's untrained girlfriend to do it, as a neighbor who had called 911 relayed instructions to her.

At his trial, Liang testified that he did not administer CPR to Gurley because "I didn't know if I could do better than [Butler], that was all."

During testimony, Landau admitted that while he was certified in CPR, he didn’t know how to administer it.

Officer John Funk, who was called to the stand by Liang’s defense team, told the court he received CPR training in an auditorium with about 300 officers in 2013.

Funk said that while mannequins were provided for practice, he didn’t have a chance to practice on one before the session ended.

While he did not read the entire CPR handbook given to him by the department, Funk said he passed the NYPD’s CPR certification test anyway, along with all of the trainees he knew.

When asked by a prosecutor whether he felt "prepared" to give CPR if needed, Funk responded, "correct."

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau launched an investigation of the department’s CPR training program on Feb. 23.

“We will be interviewing every officer that was in [Liang's] class to validate or not confirm statements made by those officers during the trial,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at the time. “Under no circumstances will we tolerate any instructor in the New York City police department short circuiting the process with its instructions.”

Patrick Lynch, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president, defended Officer Brown. "We are convinced that when a full review of the facts is concluded it will be clear that the training officer did her job properly," he said, adding that "the PBA will not allow one of our members to be scapegoated for an ineffective training program."