Tue | Sep 25, 2018

No indictment for cop in New York City choke death

Published:Wednesday | December 3, 2014 | 5:02 PM


A grand jury has cleared a white New York City police officer in the videotaped chokehold death of an unarmed black man who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, a lawyer for the victim's family has said.

The decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo threatened to add to the tensions that have simmered in the city since the July 17 death of Eric Garner — a case that sparked outrage and drew comparisons to the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri.

The Garner case also sparked protests, accusations of racist policing and calls for federal prosecutors to intervene.

Jonathan Moore, an attorney for Garner's family, said he was told of the grand jury's decision.

Two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the case, confirmed the officer was not indicted.

"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.

In anticipation of the announcement on the grand jury decision, police officials met with community leaders in the New York City borough of Staten Island, where Garner died, to head off a repeat of the response in Ferguson, where a grand jury decided last week not to indict the white officer who shot Brown.

Demonstrations in Ferguson turned violent, resulting in more than 100 arrests and destruction of 12 commercial buildings by fire.

Unlike the Missouri protests, demonstrations in have New York remained mostly peaceful.


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Jamaica Gleaner

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