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16 Jul, 2019 18:07

NYPD cop who used chokehold on Eric Garner ‘won’t be charged’ as case times out

NYPD cop who used chokehold on Eric Garner ‘won’t be charged’ as case times out

The NYPD officer who put an unarmed African-American man Eric Garner in a chokehold, contributing to his death, won’t be charged with any crime, an AP report said. Garner’s case galvanized the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

Federal prosecutors have decided against bringing civil rights charges against the NYPD officer, Daniel Pantaleo, for his role in Garner’s death, the AP reported on Tuesday, citing an anonymous source. The move comes just one day before the expiration of the case’s statute of limitations. A federal grand jury had also declined to prosecute Pantaleo.

On July 17, 2014, police arrived at a Staten Island convenience store to arrest the 43 year-old Garner on suspicion of illegally selling untaxed cigarettes. When Garner appeared uncooperative, the police used force to apprehend him. Pantaleo denies using a chokehold, claiming that he instead used a lawful police maneuver known as a “seatbelt.”

Also on rt.com Civil rights group calls for end to cop chokeholds after Nevada man dies in custody

Once wrestled to the ground, Garner said repeatedly “I can’t breathe” yet the officers continued with the arrest. Garner eventually lost consciousness, at which point the officers terminated the arrest and called an ambulance. He was pronounced dead roughly an hour later at the hospital. The New York Medical Examiner’s Office determined that prior health conditions were a factor in his death, but that the police restraining maneuver was the major cause.

Garner’s death led to a series of protests against police brutality and became a central narrative behind the Black Lives Matter movement. His three-word plea to the restraining officers “I can’t breathe” was adopted as one of the movement’s slogans.

Garner’s daughter, Erica Garner, emerged as one of the major public faces of the movement in the years following his death. While seeking justice for her father, she also led twice-weekly marches to the place of her father’s death, dubbed “die-ins” by the media. However, Erica died in 2017 at the age of 27 following a heart attack that left her in a coma.

Also on rt.com ‘Warrior for justice & equality’: Black Lives Matter icon Erica Garner dies aged 27

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