The day before the five year anniversary of Eric Garner’s death, it was reported by multiple outlets that a federal prosecutor would not charge the police officer responsible for his death.
Per USA Today, The Justice Department will not bring federal charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who held Garner in a chokehold outside of a store in Staten Island in an attempt to arrest him for allegedly selling cigarettes. Garner’s last words “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“In 2017, the city’s Civilian Complaints Review Board determined that Pantaleo used excessive force,” USA Today reports. “Federal authorities have been conducting a separate, years-long civil rights inquiry into Garner’s death. Pantaleo also is awaiting a verdict in a NYPD disciplinary proceeding.”
During Pantaleo’s trial this past May, Stuart London– the police union lawyer who represented the officer– argued that Mr. Garner died from being “morbidly obese.”
“Those who have been able to not come to a rushed judgment, but have looked at the video in explicit detail, see Pantaleo’s intent and objective was to take him down pursuant to how he was taught by NYPD, control him when they got on the ground, and then have him cuffed,” London said in an interview with the New York Times. “There was never any intent for him to exert pressure on his neck and choke him out the way the case has been portrayed.”