Another Black life lost, another White police officer gets away with murder. Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island police officer responsible for forcibly putting 43-year-old Eric Garner in the chokehold, killing him, has not been indicted by the Staten Island grand jury. Despite Garner’s death being ruled a homicide due to “the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police–a move that has been banned by the NYPD,” Pantaleo was only put on modified assignment and stripped of his badge and gun. Pantaleo, an eight-year veteran of the force, had also been accused of false arrest and violating police procedures in two previous lawsuits. Well, isn’t that something.
This controversial decision to not indict Pantaleo comes after a very expected, but still painful reveal of Darren Wilson’s own non-indictment after the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown. The grand jury is comprised of 23 individuals, of which at least 12 decided not to indict the murdering cop. It’s been reported that this jury consisted of 15 White and eight Black or Hispanic people.
“Oh my God, are you serious?” Garner’s widow, Esaw Garner, told The NY Daily News about the grand jury’s decision not to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo. “You can see in the video that he (the cop) was dead wrong!” Garner’s gruesome death was caught on various cell phones as he was attacked on the streets of Staten Island in the broad daylight on July 17, 2014 for selling loose cigarettes (loosies). In the video, Garner can be seen questioning why he’s being arrested and the 400 lb giant allegedly seemed like a threat to the officer, so force was taken to get him handcuffed. That force–that chokehold–took Garner’s life.
In the cell phone videos that recorded the tragic incident in Staten Island, Garner did not go after Pantaleo, but had his back to him; the officer jumped him from behind then tackled him to the ground, choking him, while Garner yelled, “I can’t breathe!”
Esaw passionately continued, “The grand jury kept interviewing witnesses but you didn’t need witnesses,” the anguished widow said. “You can be a witness for yourself. Oh my God, this s— is crazy.” Esaw Garner is set to make a statement alongside a very busy Reverend Al Sharpton later this evening.
The Staten Island grand jury had been meeting reviewing the evidence over several months, but concluded there was not enough there to charge Pantaleo with manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. In Garner’s case, the possible charges against Pantaleo have not been announced, but it’s being reported that prosecutors say the range is going to include: second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, felony assault, reckless endangerment. Prosecutors could ask for first-degree manslaughter, but it’s doubtful they could get it. Pantaleo could still be hit with departmental charges that could end his career as a New York City police officer.
Daniel Pantaleo released the following statement:
“I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
Indictment or not, Garner’s family has plans to sue the city for $75 million for wrongful death. As they should. What do you think beauties? Sound off in the comments below.