Caribbean legislators angry about US chokehold case
Caribbean American legislators are expressing outrage over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in Staten Island in the death of a black man who died when the officer used a chokehold to restrain him.
The grand jury’s decision yesterday not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the killing of father of six Eric Garner, comes on the heels of a similar decision last month in Ferguson, Missouri in which a white police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Michael Brown.
Caribbean American congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, who is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, and who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, says the latest decision defies comprehension.
Clarke has asked the US Department of Justice to conduct an investigation of the killing.
And she notes that the chokehold has been prohibited under New York Police Department (NYPD) regulations for more than 20 years.
The New York medical examiner had ruled that Garner’s death was a homicide.
Garner died from a heart attack while being arrested for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes in Staten Island last summer.
A disturbing video of Garner's arrest went viral online, showing Pantaleo holding Garner in a chokehold prior to his death.
Clarke says she will not accept the continued devaluation of the lives of men and women who are African-American.
Meanwhile, Grenadian American Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, says there are no words to adequately describe how he feels, saying he was vacillating between numbness and abject anger.
He says while the Staten Island prosecutor, Dan Donovan and the grand jury failed, the Mayor and Commissioner cannot fail.
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