Published: Wed, July 17, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

US Attorney: Eric Garner Case Now Closed

US Attorney: Eric Garner Case Now Closed

Cousin Michael Garner stressed that the family has the "utmost respect" for law enforcement when it is "applied fairly".

FILE - New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo leaves his house in Staten Island, New York, May 13, 2019. He says turning a "good and honorable officer" into a scapegoat will not "heal the wounds" the case has caused for the "entire city". Headed by Jeff Sessions, the department stalled the case.

A spokeswoman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says the police commissioner is expected to decide by August 31 whether the officer involved in Eric Garner's death will be fired.

Federal prosecutors in the city's Brooklyn borough have scheduled a press conference for later in the day after meeting with Garner's family.

"Make no mistake about it, we're going to continue to push", Carr said. Under New York privacy laws the decision, which will be made by NYPD commissioner James O'Neill, does not have to be announced. The penalties in that case range from Pantaleo losing vacation days to being terminated.

It included testimony from the city medical examiner, who ruled the death a homicide; Pantaleo's former instructor at the police academy, who said he did not teach the officer the seatbelt maneuver; and a medical examiner from St. Louis, who reviewed the autopsy and said the alleged chokehold was part of a chain of events that killed the father of six.

According to U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue, who addressed reporters on Tuesday, "Mr. Garner's death was a tragedy".

Tina Luongo, the attorney in charge of the criminal defense practice at The Legal Aid Society, said the long wait for the Justice Department's decision had unnecessarily prolonged the Garner family's anguish.

The Rev. Al Sharpton calls it "a moral disgrace" and "judicial malpractice".

A senior department official said Garner's statements that he could not breathe were "not 100 percent determinative" in proving Pantaleo meant to harm Garner by continuing to choke him.

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Omar added that she would "not dignify" Trump's accusation on Monday - that she supports al-Qaida - with a response. Democratic leaders are now preparing a resolution condemning Trump's remarks for the House floor later Tuesday.

However, de Blasio did not say whether the city intends to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Meanwhile, the NYPD has brought departmental charges against Pantaleo.

"Reforms over the last five years have improved relations between our police and our communities, " he said, adding crime was at record lows and 150,000 fewer people were arrested last year than the year before we came into office.

The family of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 during an attempted arrest by NY police, on Tuesday blasted federal prosecutors' decision not to bring charges against the officer on the case as a denial of justice.

"At the end of the day, Attorney General Barr thoroughly considered this case and made a decision himself and that is the decision today", Donoghue said.

The decision not to charge Pantaleo or any other officer came one day before the statute of limitations ran out on the case, and after years of pressure by Garner's mother and supporters for federal prosecution in the case after a NY state grand jury decided in December 2014 that there was not evidence to support homicide charges.

The official was not authorized to discuss investigative matters and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

A justice department official said that prosecutors watched the video of Garner's confrontation with police "countless" times, but were unconvinced that Officer Pantaleo acted intentionally in Garner's death, AP reports. Ultimately, he said, the government concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Pantaleo willfully used unreasonable force, the standard required for a federal charge.

NYPD policy prohibits use of the chokehold technique.

The NYPD said its disciplinary process on Pantaleo will not be affected by the federal prosecutors' decision.

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