No indictment in Eric Garner chokehold death, NYPD prepares for protests

by Staff |

The casket with Eric Garner's body is moved after his funeral at Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York on July 23, 2014. (FILE) REUTERS/James Keivom/Pool/

NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) -- The police officer who applied an unsanctioned chokehold that killed Eric Garner was not indicted Wednesday, according to early reports. A Staten Island grand jury decided not to pursue charges against white police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was videotaped grabbing the African-American man from behind.

Jurors decided to vote "no bill" and dismissed all charges against Pantaleo, a source told The New York Post. They convened in September to decide whether or not Garner's death was the fault of the several New York City police officers who attempted to arrest him on July 17. Garner, a father of six, had been selling loose cigarettes in front of a Beauty Supply store when he was killed.

The officers' arrest of Garner was viewed millions of times on YouTube and invoked racially charged protests. The man was tackled to the ground and yelled "I can't breathe!" numerous times.

A medical examiner determined that Garner died from "compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical by police." The NYPD bans chokeholds as a form of restraint but the technique is not illegal in the city.

Police have been preparing for the possibility of protests and demonstrations arising from the announcement, and as a precaution, sanitation workers have moved trash cans from the front of the district attorney's office.

"I think that there will be an ability that people will get to have their voice heard without disturbance," NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters Tuesday. "We, on the other hand, on the police side, will naturally gear up to deal with any potential contingency that might occur."

Garner's family plans to file a civil suit for $75 million against the New York Police Department for wrongful death, pre-death pain and suffering, and civil rights violations, according to the Post.