Grand Jury Will Not Charge Officer in Eric Garner Choke Hold Death: Report

Eric Garner    
Eric Garner    

A Staten Island, N.Y., grand jury has decided not to charge New York police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who administered the fatal choke hold that resulted in the death of Eric Garner, the New York Daily News reports.

The news comes only a week after then-Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for killing unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., making Garner’s the second recent case of an unarmed black man dying at the hands of police with no grand jury indictment.

Several sources told the Daily News that a charge of murder was unlikely but did note that the grand jury could have charged the officer with second-degree manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.


Both Garner and Brown became the subjects of a nationwide discussion of police brutality and men of color.

Police, who believed that Garner, 43, had been selling loose cigarettes, approached him and a struggle ensued. Garner was choked until his lifeless body lay on the sidewalk. The video of the incident sparked outrage and protest throughout New York.

Pantaleo was the only officer facing a possible indictment; the other officers were given immunity for their testimony, according to the New York Times. Pantaleo testified on Nov. 21 for more than two hours, the Times reported.

CNN legal analyst Mel Robbins, appearing via phone on CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin, said she believed that because the incident had been recorded, with the footage showing "the officer using an illegal choke hold," Pantaleo would be charged with criminally negligent homicide, a finding that would have meant that he had no intention to kill Garner, but that his actions led to Garner's death.

"I am just in shock," Robbins said.

Read more at the New York Daily News and the New York Times.

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