NYC Police Officer Cleared In Chokehold Death Of Eric Garner
Only a week after the streets of America erupted into sometimes violent protest linked to an officer not being indicted, it’s deja-vu.
Protests took over the streets of New York last night after a grand jury opted to not indict a white officer in the videotaped chokehold death of a black unarmed man, stopped for selling untaxed cigarettes last July.
Daniel Donovan, Staten Island District Attorney said the grand jury found “no reasonable cause” to lay charges on officer Daniel Pantaleo
Donovan gave no details on how the jury came to its decision.
Protesters later gathered in Times Square around the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting with signs that read: “Black lives matter” and “Fellow white people, wake up.”
In the neighbourhood where Eric Garner died, people were angry and chanted, “Hands up — don’t choke!”
The grand jury did indict one person involved in Eric Garner’s killing — the man who filmed the video below.
VIDEO Shows Fatal NYPD Chokehold
Eric Garner had both hands in the air as New York police officers were trying to arrest him.
Four NYPD officers bring Eric Garner down — one cop grabbed him in a chokehold and Garner can be heard gasping, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” One of the officers then uses his hands to push the 43-year-old’s face into the sidewalk.
He died of an apparent heart attack in the botched arrest that happened in July.
Garner’s alleged crime? Selling “loosies” – black market, untaxed single cigarettes.
Now Garner’s friends and family are furious at what happened, and New York’s mayor says the video is “very troubling.” But a police organization says the officer should be given the benefit of the doubt.
In an appeal from the pulpit, the Rev. Al Sharpton demanded justice for Eric Garner but added that citizens who attack police officers also should be held accountable.
The officer linked to what the police commissioner has said was an apparent chokehold has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty. Chokeholds are banned under department policy. Garner’s cause of death has yet to be determined.
Court records show that within the past two years, three men sued officer Daniel over allegedly unlawful, racially motivated arrests. Garner was black.
Are cops too quick to use force in encounters when such an approach isn’t warranted? Did the grand jury get the verdict wrong on this case?