Security personnel at a Staten Island courthouse after a grand jury's decision not to indict a New York police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.
The New York Police Department was hit with a barrage of criticism on Wednesday after its community affairs account sent a seemingly tone-deaf tweet following a grand jury's decision not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.
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The tweet was sent from the account of Joanne Jaffe, chief of the NYPD's Community Affairs Bureau. It came just moments after news broke that a Staten Island grand jury had decided not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Garner, a 43-year-old black man who died in July after being placed in a chokehold.
— Chief Joanne Jaffe (@NYPDCommAffairs) December 3, 2014
The hashtag #WeHearYou exploded with tweets critical of NYPD policies following Jaffe's message.
@NYPDCommAffairs You should be ashamed today to work for .@NYPDnews Resistance = Death! What is this #Iraq? #MyNYPDpic.twitter.com/TQkommJonx— BernieKerikBlog (@BKerikBlog) December 3, 2014
A good start would be proving that cops aren't above the law .@NYPDCommAffairs The #NYPD is committed to rebuilding public trust. #Wehearyou— Matthew Hunziker (@DogCitizen) December 3, 2014
Grew up trusting police. Grown up, I see unthinkable institutional violence & my own privilege all that protects me. #WeHearYou— Tara Shepersky (@PDXpersky) December 3, 2014
If u could stop lynching blk ppl that'd be a great start. "@NYPDCommAffairs: The #NYPD is committed to rebuilding public trust. #Wehearyou"— Wordsworth (@wordsworth__) December 3, 2014
The hashtag was quickly trending across the U.S., with New York as its epicenter.
— Trendsmap New York (@TrendsNewYork) December 3, 2014
Garner's family lawyer and wife were shocked at the decision not to indict Pantaleo.
"I am actually astonished based on the evidence of the video tape, and the medical examiner, that this grand jury at this time wouldn't indict for anything, is really just astonishing," Jonathan Moore, an attorney for Garner's family, told The Associated Press.
The case received widespread attention after videos showing the incident circulated online. The footage shows an officer wrapping his arm around Garner's neck before the heavyset Garner, who had asthma, is heard gasping, "I can't breathe." A second video emerged showing Garner handcuffed and unresponsive on the ground. He later was pronounced dead at a hospital from cardiac arrest. A medical examiner ruled the death was a homicide.
Tags: ERIC GARNER, NYPD, U.S., US & World