The Staten Island grand jury held with responsibility of the Eric Garner case decided in the late afternoon on Wednesday not to bring charges against the officer who choked Eric Garner while trying to arrest him on July 17. A witness to the arrest recorded the entire incident on his phone and viewers can see the violent arrest while Eric Garner is showing no force or restraint. The video also shows where Officer Daniel Pantaleo jumps onto Garner’s back to put him in a chokehold, slowly bringing him down. Once Garner is on the ground, Pantaleo does not release the hold and witnesses can hear Garner saying ‘I can’t breathe.’ This decision comes a week after a Ferguson grand jury did not indict Darren Wilson for the death of Mike Brown.
Many protests took place after the verdict was released and continued throughout the night, shutting down freeways and major thoroughfares in New York City. Celebrities such as J.Cole, and Spike Lee. were present in a few of the protests around the city. Garner’s family released a statement to the New York Times saying:
“We’re astounded by the outcome of the grand jury process and that after hearing months of evidence and having deliberated that they would find no true bill as to any potential criminal charge.”
There is a chance for the officer involved, Daniel Pantaleo, to come under punishment from NYPD, to be sued by the Garner family, and also be charged federally.