Just over one week after a grand jury elected not to indict Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, a Staten Island grand jury has cleared an NYPD police officer of any criminal charge in the death of Eric Garner.
The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, a white male, choked Mr. Garner to death as other police officers jammed his head into the concrete. Mr. Garner, 43, suffered from asthma and was suspected of illegally selling cigarettes. Along with other evidence, the grand jury viewed a video recorded by bystanders, which fully captured the violent arrest.
The New York Times reports:
The case exposed lapses in police tactics – chokeholds are banned by the Police Department’s own guidelines – and raised questions about the aggressive policing of minor offenses in a time of historically low crime. The officers, part of a plainclothes unit, suspected Mr. Garner of selling loose cigarettes on the street near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, a complaint among local business owners.
Mr. Garner’s death hastened an effort to retrain all the department’s patrol officers and brought scrutiny on how officers who violate its rules are disciplined. Officer Pantaleo has been stripped of his gun and badge.
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