Family Of Eric Garner Renews Calls For Charges Against Officer Who Killed Him
By Michael McLaughlin
The Huffington Post
The family of a man choked to death by a New York City police officer renewed their call to see criminal charges a day after agreeing to a $5.9 million settlement with city officials.
With the one-year anniversary of Eric Garner’s death days away, his widow, his mother, three of his six children and the Rev. Al Sharpton recently said prosecutors should pursue a criminal case.
On July 17, 2014, New York Police officer Daniel Pantaleo put Garner, 43, in a chokehold while other cops wrestled him to the ground in Staten Island. They accosted him because he’d allegedly been selling loose cigarettes. A bystander recorded Garner’s killing, including his famous last words “I can’t breathe” — which became a rallying cry for protests nationwide against police brutality, in particular after a grand jury in December declined to indict Pantaleo.
“They treated my husband like an animal, and I think they give animals more respect than humans,” said Esaw Snipes Garner, according to USA Today.
A medical examiner had determined that neck compressions from the chokehold, and the position Garner was in while police restrained him, caused his death. City police officers are banned from using chokeholds.
Though the Staten Island grand jury didn’t indict Pantaleo, several other investigations at the local, state and federal level remain open regarding Garner’s killing.
The multi-million-dollar settlement reached with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer averted a civil trial, but Garner’s mother said more must be done.
“The settlement that we got isn’t a victory,” said Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, according to Reuters. “The victory will come when we get justice. Where is the justice?”
At the press conference, Sharpton said the NYPD must change the way it polices neighborhoods.