U.S. will investigate NYC chokehold death after cop avoids indictment

Protesters in New York's Times Square held signs Wednesday, including one that quoted Eric Garner's last words.
A Staten Island grand jury has decided not to indict a white New York City police officer in the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in July after the officer put him in a chokehold. But Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday night that the Justice Department would open a federal civil rights investigation into Garner's death.
The case received widespread attention after videos showing the incident began circulating online, and anger over Garner's death has coincided with protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the killing of Michael Brown.
Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold
NY Daily News
Also on Wednesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that despite the grand jury's decision to not indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD would still be conducting an internal investigation into his actions. During a press briefing, de Blasio spoke candidly about his own worries as the father of a biracial son.
"I've had to worry over the years, was Dante safe?" said de Blasio. "They’ve said black lives matter, and they said it because it has to be said… our history sadly requires us to say that black lives matter."
Jonathan Moore, an attorney for Garner's family, said Wednesday he was told of the grand jury's decision. 
"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," Moore said.

President Barack Obama, speaking at the Tribal Nations Conference on Wednesday afternoon, briefly addressed the Garner case. "I want everyone to know, we are not going to let up until we see a strengthening of trust," Obama said. "We're seeing too many incidences where people do not have confidence that folks are being treated fairly." He added: "It's incumbent on all of us as Americans ... that we recognize that this is an American problem."
The Garner case stems from a July 17 confrontation with Pantaleo and other NYPD officers who stopped him on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. The video shot by an onlooker shows the 43-year-old Garner telling the officers to leave him alone and refusing to be handcuffed.
The footage shows Pantaleo wrapping his arm around Garner's neck, apparently putting him in a chokehold. 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 as officers and paramedics stood around him. He later was pronounced dead at a hospital from cardiac arrest.
De Blasio said the city would "stand ready to cooperate" in any federal investigation that could take place in future.
“This is a deeply emotional day — for the Garner Family, and all New Yorkers," de Blasio said in a statement. "His death was a terrible tragedy that no family should have to endure. This is a subject that is never far from my family’s minds — or our hearts. And Eric Garner’s death put a spotlight on police-community relations and civil rights — some of most critical issues our nation faces today."
Holder said the federal investigation would be "independent, thorough, fair and expeditious."
"We have all seen the video of Mr. Garner's arrest," Holder added. "His death, of course, was a tragedy. All lives must be valued. All lives."
Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, said she "feels some type of hope" after speaking with Holder.
But she told the Daily News she was "very disappointed" at the verdict.
“The grand jury kept interviewing witnesses but you didn't need witnesses. You can be a witness for yourself," said Esaw. "Oh my God, this s— is crazy.”
Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, was equally as shocked at the decision. Speaking with the Rev. Al Sharpton on Wednesday she asked, "Are they looking at the same video that the rest of the world is looking at?"
Police Chokehold Death

Demonstrators lay on the ground in New York's Grand Central Terminal in protest of the decision.
During a press conference Wednesday evening, Carr implored protesters to remain peaceful.
"Make a statement, but make it in peace. Do what you have to do, but do it in peace," she said.
Pantaleo said he feels "very bad" about Garner's death in a statement issued Wednesday.
"I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can't protect themselves. It was never my intention to harm anyone," the officer wrote.
But Esaw said she "could care less about his condolences," during the evening press conference as she stood beside Carr.
In July, the medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide, saying the chokehold contributed to his death. Chokeholds are prohibited by NYPD policy because of the danger they present.
Local politicians have denounced the decision. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said the decision was an "outrage."
"It's a disgrace, its a blow to our democracy and it should shock the conscience of every single American who cares about justice and fair play," said Jeffries.
"What more does America need to see to understand that we have a problem in this country as it relates to the relationship between the police and communities of color?"
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker also weighed in on the decision.
The street on Staten Island where Garner died was peaceful immediately following the verdict, but pockets of protest began in Times Square, Grand Central Station and Union Square, as well as outside Rockefeller Center, where the Christmas tree was scheduled to be lighted Wednesday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
UPDATED, December 3, 2014, 8:45 p.m. ET: Statements from Garner's wife and mother during Wednesday evening press conference with Rev. Al Sharpton added.

No comments:


© 2012 Học Để ThiBlog tài liệu