Grand Jury: New York City Police Officer Won’t Face Criminal Charges in Eric Garner Death

Thousands take part in the ‘We Will Not Go Back’ march and rally for Eric Garner in Staten Island in August. REUTERS

A New York City grand jury on Wednesday declined to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who died in July after being restrained in an alleged police chokehold, a law-enforcement official said.

The white officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was seen in a widely circulated video recording of the July 17 encounter with his arm wrapped around Mr. Garner’s neck as Mr. Garner, an African American, cried “I can’t breathe.”

The New York Police Department has been preparing for possible protests in the wake of the announcement, which comes a little over a week after a grand jury in Missouri declined to indict a police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager.

Mr. Garner, a 43-year-old Staten Island resident, was wrestled to the ground by a group of police officers trying to arrest him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. He died later at the hospital. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, caused in part by the chokehold.

Mr. Garner’s death stoked outrage across the city, testing the relationship between police and minority communities and prompting a review of NYPD arrest practices, which expressly prohibit chokeholds.

The grand jury had been hearing witnesses since September. Mr. Pantaleo testified before the grand jury on Nov. 21, his lawyer, Stuart London, said.

At the scene where Garner was wrestled to the ground, news of the decision began filtering through by mid-afternoon, and a small crowd gathered, raw anger emanating from several people.

One man, with his mouth covered with green and red cloth, repeatedly chanted: “Let them feel the pain.”

A woman yelled: “It was a homicide; who gets away with a homicide? It was on video!”

Abria Evans, 20-years-old, said of decision: “I think it’s horrible.”

“You see what’s going on,” she added, gesturing towards angry folks.

UPDATE from NYPD Confirms Eric Garner Was A Member of Organized Crime in Staten Island

  • Exile1981

    I don’t know anything about this one but it looks like someone is stirring the pot again to see how much anger and violence they can create.

    • Martin Luffa
      • Xavier

        I would strongly suggest you look into the known facts a little closer – the most pertinent being 1) the police didn’t use a “choke hold” as is being widely circulated, and 2) at this point we aren’t privy to the grand jury testimony. Being an armchair judge may be fun, but it’s a disservice to people who put their hearts and lives into making a just decision.

        • Martin Luffa

          Watch the video, see the arm bar across the trachea

    • Pete_Brewster

      Of course they are. If Garner had been white or the cop black the MSM would have kept their yaps shut.

  • Martin Luffa

    Notice how they need a gang to take down someone evading taxes. Not to mention its such a piddling amount of taxes but the government in NYC will kill you over a few dollars.


  • mauser 98

    5 cops for illegal smokes.

    video proves NYPD are not properly trained. an officer should never grovel on ground with suspect. a proper nerve pressure point with one finger would subdue him in this case.. no injuries.
    Obama wants equal justice for all in speech!
    except for illegals and those killed by Holders gun running

  • Pete_Brewster

    Waving the bloody shirt of another thug whom the world is well rid of? Good Lord, who do the MSM think they’re fooling at this point?

    Can the New York MSM honestly claim they would have bothered wasting perfectly good ink reporting on a common criminal’s committing suicide by cop had he not been a member of Chirlane McCray’s base?

    The taxes on a pack of smokes weren’t worth a man’s life? Very well then, why are they so high in NYC in the first place? It couldn’t possibly be to guarantee the profits of the organized criminals who own so many NYC politicians, surely?

    Nobody gave a damn whether Garner lived or died, not even other black people. Sister Chirlane just wants another excuse to get whitey.

    • May I have a list, please, Pete, of the people you think ought to be up for being murdered hunted for bounty by loyal Protestant subjects of Her Majesty and/or put down by the cops, May Their Jackboots Continue Ever Fragrant?

      I know almost nothing of this Garner case, and what little I do know seems kind of dodgy to me, but the very fact that you’re so convinced he deserved to die inclines me in his favour.

  • ntt1

    The problem can be solved by Obama and holder declaring all gentle giants to be above the law and unassailable ,make 350 pounds the entry level with a sliding scale for increasing morbid obesity, if the problem is huge blacks simply make them an untouchable class.

  • northernont

    This character assassination of police victims may play well to partisans, but I don’t really care about a habitual petty criminal’s history, just the facts of the case. Another needless death for the crime of being black by police.