Yesterday, we reported that a grand jury was deciding whether or not NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo should face criminal charges in the chokehold death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner.
Garner’s death was caught on video by at least two witnesses.
The medical examiner ruled the man’s death a homicide.
Yet, a grand jury decided that Pantaleo shouldn’t face charges.
From The New York Times:
A Staten Island grand jury has voted not to bring criminal charges against the white New York City police officer at the center of the Eric Garner case, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.
The decision was reached on Wednesday after months of testimony including from the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who used a chokehold to restrain Mr. Garner, an unarmed black man who died after a confrontation.
The grand jury, empanelled by District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. in September, has weighed evidence – including a video recorded by bystanders of Mr. Garner’s violent arrest – and heard testimony from the officers involved.
Grand juries determine whether enough evidence exists for a case to go forward to a criminal trial, either before a jury or a judge. By law, they operate in secret and hear only evidence presented by prosecutors, who also instruct the grand jurors on the law. Defense lawyers are barred from speaking. For a decision, 12 jurors who have heard all the evidence must agree.
An indictment was considered only against Officer Pantaleo, who testified last, on Nov. 21, his lawyer, Stuart London, said. The other officers received immunity, he said.
Garner’s family has filed notice it plans to sue the city for $75 million on grounds including wrongful death, pre-death pain and suffering, and civil rights violations.
In July, US Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department was monitoring the case. A group including Garner’s mom, widow and Sharpton met in August with Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch, who has been nominated to replace Holder, according to the New York Post.
Pantaleo is still facing POSSIBLE punishment from the police department, including termination.
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