Posted On 16 Jul 2019
A New York City police officer will not face federal charges in the death of Eric Garner, the unarmed black man heard in a video repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” after he was put in an apparent chokehold, according to a person familiar with the case.
The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday concluded its five-year investigation and will not bring civil rights or criminal charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was seen in the video with his arm around Garner’s neck.
The decision not to pursue charges comes one day before the five-year anniversary of Garner’s July 17, 2014 death, which was also the deadline for charges to be filed.
Garner, 43, who was asthmatic, was being arrested for allegedly selling untaxed, loose cigarettes. His death sparked national outrage and protests. The phrase “I can’t breathe” — which he screamed 11 times during his arrest — became a rallying cry for police reform.
A medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, saying the chokehold was the cause.
A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo and the city of New York reached a $5.9 million settlement with the Garner family in 2015 for a wrongful-death lawsuit.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.