Grand jury doesn’t indict NYPD officer accused in chokehold death – reports


AFP Photo / Timothy A. Clary

A New York City grand jury has decided not to indict the New York Police Department officer accused of killing a Staten Island man by putting him in an illegal chokehold. The NYPD is now preparing for more protests stemming from the decision.

Early Wednesday afternoon, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post all reported that a grand jury declined to indict the officer.

Although the special grand jury declined to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the white officer accused of strangling Garner, who was black, the police department can still reprimand Pantaleo under a basic rule that loosely states if an officer does anything to embarrass the department, then they can be disciplined.

“It’s sad if they take that position,” Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, told Staten Island Live. “I’d be surprised and a bit disappointed if he was used as a political pawn to appease the community.”

The incident occurred on July 17, when at least five New York Police Department officers took 43-year-old Eric Garner, a Staten Island father of six, to the ground in an attempted arrest on Staten Island. One put Garner in a chokehold that caused Garner – who suffered from asthma – to lose consciousness and reportedly go into cardiac arrest. He was declared dead at a nearby hospital.

The Staten Island District Attorney’s Office convened the grand jury in September, but did not announced the list of potential charges against Pantaleo. But prosecutors outside the district told ABC News that the range could have included second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, felony assault or reckless endangerment. Legal experts and former prosecutors had said that, despite the medical examiner’s ruling the death a homicide, murder charges were unlikely, the New York Times reported.

The grand jury, made up of 23 people and led by a foreperson, voted on the various charges presented to them. A majority of the total ‒ meaning at least 12 jurors ‒ needed to agree on each charge in order to indict.

Read more at RT News

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