NYPD Officer Not Indicted For Death Of Eric Garner

Eric GarnerPhoto still from video shot by witness Ramsey Orta

In the midst of racial tension and nationwide protests after Darren Wilson was not indicted for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; yet another case in which a white police officer was involved in the death of a black man is causing uproar and debate. 

In a video, Eric Garner is seen standing in front of a New York storefront surrounded by officers. An unarmed Garner was forced down to the sidewalk with a chokehold, used by Daniel Pantaleo. Garner repeatedly shouted, “I can’t breathe.” He died on the way to the hospital.

On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury voted not to bring criminal charges in the death of Garner. According to autopsy reports by the city’s medical examiner Garner’s death was ruled a homicide resulting from the chokehold and the compression of his chest by the group of police officers.

In a statement, Mayor de Blasio said, “Today’s outcome is one that many in our city did not want.” In response to potential protests around the city, he said “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.”

In response to the grand jury’s decision President Obama said, “This is an issue we’ve been dealing with for too long and it’s time for us to make more progress than we’ve made.”

Hundreds of protestors have taken to Times Square and Grand Central Station.

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