Perhaps it’s not the justice hoped many for, but it’s at least a resolution: The New York Times is reporting that the City of New York has agreed to pay the family of Eric Garner $5.9 million to settle a claim over his killing in New York City’s Staten Island borough one year ago on Friday.
The agreement, reached days before the deadline to file suit in the death, appeared to be among the biggest reached so far as part of a strategy by the city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, to settle major civil rights claims even before a lawsuit is filed. Mr. Stringer has said the aim is to save taxpayers the expense of a drawn-out trial and to give those bringing the suits and their families a measure of closure.
Last year, Mr. Garner’s relatives, including his widow, Esaw Garner, and with his mother, Gwen Carr, filed a notice of claim — a procedural step that must precede a lawsuit against the city — seeking $75 million in damages. Mr. Garner died on July 17 after a police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, placed him in a chokehold during an arrest as other officers wrestled him to the ground. The confrontation was captured in a cellphone video taken by a bystander.
As reported, the medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, but a grand jury did not indict Pantaleo in his death.