The former NYPD officer who fatally shot an unarmed man in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project was not given jail time in his sentencing on Tuesday as scores of his supporters and protesters rallied outside the courthouse, reports the New York Post.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun sentenced Peter Liang to five years probation and 800 hours of community service after Liang pleaded his case.

"Growing up my parents thought it was a foolish dream that I wanted to become a police officer. When I graduated from the academy it was a dream come true," Liang told the judge, before apologizing to Akai Gurley's family.

"The shot was accidental," he said. "My life is forever changed. I hope I have a chance to rebuild it."

Liang, 28, was convicted in February of manslaughter — a charge that could have resulted in up to 15 years in prison. Chun reduced the charge to criminally negligent homicide at the sentencing.

"There's no evidence Peter Liang was aware of Akai Gurley's presence," Chun said.