A grand jury announced its decision Wednesday to not indict the white NYPD officer who held Eric Garner, an African-American, in an apparent chokehold before his death last July, according to The New York Times and NY1.
The lawyer for Garner’s family also told the Associated Press that he had been informed there would be no criminal charges in the case.
The decision is another major blow to activists who had called for the indictment of both Pantaleo, and Darren Wilson, the officer who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last August.
According to a press release sent out by the Rev. Al Sharpton, Garner’s widow and mother will hold a press conference Wednesday night with Sharpton to address the issue.
The Garner incident drew national controversy when a cell phone video of his arrest showed him repeatedly yelling that he couldn’t breathe as NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo appeared to wrap his arm around Garner’s neck.
The death was later ruled a homicide by the city’s chief medical examiner.
The NYPD said it was preparing for protests in light of the demonstrations that roiled Ferguson less than two weeks ago when the non-indictment of Wilson was announced. Protesters burned buildings and police cars in the immediate aftermath of the Ferguson decision.
“The irony of what we’re dealing with in New York is we have the New York community, the people who live here, and then we have a lot of outside agitators who come in for these events,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton reportedly said Wednesday morning.
Video of Garner’s arrest can be viewed below. Warning: Video contains graphic content.
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