Family of deadly chokehold victim Eric Garner renews calls to charge NYPD officer
One day after settling a $5.9 million wrongful death case with New York City, the family of Eric Garner will use a press conference on Tuesday to renew calls to criminally charge the police officer who put him in a fatal chokehold last July.
A grand jury in December declined to indict the white officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who placed the 43-year-old black man in the chokehold, a maneuver banned by the New York City Police Department. A video that a bystander took of the incident sparked protests across the country over police treatment of minority groups.
Nearly one year after Garner’s death on New York’s Staten Island borough, his widow, Esaw Garner, and mother, Gwen Carr, will attend a press conference in New York alongside civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton.
“No federal charges have been filed against the officer who killed Mr. Garner, and the settlement with the city does not establish justice,” the family and Sharpton said in a statement.
The NYPD and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Garner, a father of six, was accused of illegally selling cigarettes on a sidewalk when Pantaleo put him in the chokehold from behind and brought him down with the help of other officers. Garner complained repeatedly that he could not breathe.
The city medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, with health problems, including asthma and obesity, as contributing factors.
New York City agreed to pay Garner’s family $5.9 million to resolve the claim over his death, city officials said on Monday.
A separate settlement was reached with the hospital that employed emergency medical technicians who responded to the scene and did not aid Garner. Terms of that agreement have not been released.
Garner’s family had filed a claim in October seeking $75 million in damages.
Tuesday’s press conference is the first of a number of events leading up to the anniversary of Garner’s death on Friday.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will speak at a service at the Mount Sinai United Christian Church in Staten Island on Tuesday to mark the anniversary. The list of attendees includes New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who beforehand is slated to visit the nearby NYPD 120th Precinct, home to the officers involved in the incident.
A rally is planned on Saturday outside a federal courthouse in Brooklyn calling for justice for Garner.
(Additional reporting by Sebastien Malo; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)