A New York City grand jury has decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of unarmed black man Eric Garner, who died of a heart attack on July 17, 2014 after being placed in a chokehold by the white NYPD officer.
The contentious decision comes less than two weeks after a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri chose not to bring criminal charges against Officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting unarmed black teen Michael Brown.
Eric Garner Chokehold Death: No Charges For NYPD Officer From Grand Jury
Tensions have been running high in NYC since Eric Garner’s July 17 death and city officials are bracing themselves for even more unrest and protests in the wake of the grand jury decision.
“Today’s outcome is one that many in our city did not want,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Yet New York City owns a proud and powerful tradition of expressing ourselves through nonviolent protest. We trust that those unhappy with today’s grand jury decision will make their views known in the same peaceful, constructive way.
“We all agree that demonstrations and free speech are valuable contributions to debate, and that violence and disorder are not only wrong, but hurt the critically important goals we are trying to achieve together.”
Jonathon Moore, an attorney for the Garner family, said he was shocked by the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Pantaleo.
“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,” he said, according to ABC7.com.
Officer Daniel Pantaleo Sends Condolences To Garner Family
Officer Panteleo has released the following statement offering his condolences to the Garner family, The New York Times reports.
“I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It is never my intention to harm anyone, and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
So HollywoodLifers, do YOU agree with the grand jury’s decision? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
— Tierney McAfee