NEW YORK (PIX11) -- The indictment of NYPD officer Peter Liang in the shooting death of Akai Gurley dominated the conversation in legal and political circles on Wednesday.
The case drew comparisons to similar indictments of the past. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "I don't think it's smart to compare the different cases. At the end of it, the point is that, do people think there was a sense of fairness in the process and we will see that here."
The indictment is the city's first of an NYPD cop in a controversial death since Richard Haste, the officer in Ramarley Graham's shooting death, was indicted in 2012.
There were no specifics of the the Gurley case discussed at a meeting involving NYPD Chief James O'Neill and community leaders. The meeting scheduled two weeks ago was to be focused on a new protest unit.
Kirsten John Foy, the Northeast Regional Director of the National Action Network, says that Tuesday's indictment was touched on in a very broad stroke.
Foy also added that this indictment is unique because District Attorney Ken Thompson made the indictment under circumstances that are nowhere as evident as to those in the case of Eric Garner, a death captured on video and in broad daylight. "We have a District Attorney in Ken Thompson in Brooklyn that can see through the dark to find the facts or at least bring us to the point where those facts can be brought to light in a trial."
Foy also mentioned that DA Thompson is restoring trust in the judicial system with the ultimate resolve surrounding the controversial killing at the hands of the NYPD being handed down by a trial jury. "We can accept the outcome of a fair process. What we cannot due is tolerate and abide and unfair and unjust process and that is what we saw in Staten Island, that is what we saw in Ferguson and in the Bronx."
The Bronx case of course is Ramarley Graham.
"An indictment doesn't mean anything until I hear a judge say guilty," said Constance Malcolm, Graham's mother, to PIX11 News Wednesday afternoon.
Her son's case remains a Federal investigation although a settlement with the city was recently reached.
Malcolm during the interview sent a specific message to Gurley's family, "My heart goes out to them, but just don't let your guard down, because this system is so messed up. It can go either way, but I am praying that it goes the way that they want it to go and it's a conviction."