Today is five years since Eric Garner was strangled on camera by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. Yesterday, the Justice Department revealed Pantaleo will not be charged. However, it is now being reported that he ruling came from Trump’s deplorable Attorney General — William Barr.
ABC reporter Alex Millin wrote on Twitter, “A senior DOJ official said AG Barr made final call on decision not to move forward in prosecuting Officer Pantaleo in #EricGarner‘s death, siding with EDNY recommendation over DOJ’s own Civil Rights division, which *recommended prosecution.*”
Yep, Barr went with the Eastern District of New York instead of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division. It’s a despicable blow to the family of Eric Garner.
U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said at a news conference yesterday, “Let me say as clear and unequivocally as I can that Mr. Garner’s death was a tragedy. But these unassailable facts are separate and distinct from whether federal crime has been committed. And the evidence here does not support charging police Officer Daniel Pantaleo with a federal criminal civil rights violation.”
Emerald Garner said outside of the courthouse, “Fire him… This man choked my father outside on the street. Choked him with no remorse,” she declared. The federal government does not want to prosecute Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner. … Nobody wants to hold nobody accountable?”
The Garner family is still waiting for the decision for the administrative NYPD trial to determine if Pantaleo could still be a police officer.
The trial ended on June 6 after a handful of delays since it began more than three weeks ago. The Civil Complaint Review Board (CCRB) repeated its stance to for Pantaleo to be fired.
“CCRB recommends a penalty of termination without his pension,” prosecuting lawyer Suzanne O’Hare said as part of her closing arguments. “Officer Pantaleo forfeitured his right and privilege to be a police officer in the city of New York.”
One seemingly damning fact revealed from the trial was the fact that an NYPD officer admitted that he trumped up the charges against Garner in an effort to justify his chokehold death.
“Officer Justin Damico testified that after riding in an ambulance with the dying Garner, he went ahead on his own and filled out arrest papers listing a felony tax charge that would have required prosecutors to prove Garner, a small-time street hustler, had sold 10,000 untaxed cigarettes,” the Associated Press reported.
Earlier in the trial, it was also revealed that NYPD Lt. Christopher Bannon was texting with another officer shortly after Pantaleo’s violently killing in Staten Island, where Garner was rushed to Richmond University Medical Center. When Bannon was told that Garner didn’t have a pulse, Bannon texted back: “Not a big deal.”
Garner was approached by undercover NYPD officers on July 17, 2014, for the alleged offense of selling untaxed loose cigarettes. When officers failed at handcuffing him for the nonviolent misdemeanor, Pantaleo was caught on video with his arms wrapped tightly around Garner’s neck from behind. The chokehold ultimately killed Garner. The entire deadly episode was captured on cellphone video and filmed by a bystander. Garner’s final words “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying call for social justice advocates who saw his death as a murder.