Eric Garner's family will still get their day in court, but it won't be with the same lawyer. That's because the Associated Press is reporting that attorney Sanford Rubenstein has been accused of raping a woman he met at a 60th-birthday party for the Rev. Al Sharpton last week.
According to reports, the alleged incident took place at Rubenstein's apartment after the party. Sharpton has since parted ways with the attorney, claiming that the allegations come from a friend and a trusted person in his National Action Network.
"Even if it was consensual, why would he take a key leader of our organization back to his apartment right after a fundraiser?" an outraged Sharpton asked the New York Daily News. "It's disrespectful to our movement, and the women in our network are absolutely outraged."
Although Rubenstein denied the allegations and hasn't been arrested or charged with a crime, his law partner Scott Rynecki, who will replace him, told AP that the lawyer didn't want the accusation to be a distraction to the case.
Garner's death went viral after bystanders recorded a July 17 encounter between Garner and police over their belief that he was selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner can be heard on the video telling police that he didn't do anything and to leave him alone. After a brief scuffle, Garner, who was asthmatic, was placed in what appeared to be a choke hold, which is banned under police policy. Garner can be heard on the video gasping and saying, "I can't breathe." He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to AP, "Garner's family has filed a notice of claim to sue the city and the Police Department for $75 million."