By now, you’ve heard the news. On Wednesday, a grand jury cleared the white police officer in the videotaped chokehold death of an unarmed black man stopped for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. As expected, the decision triggered outrage and protests in the streets by hundreds of New Yorkers, who suggest that the case is similar to the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson.
Reportedly, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said federal authorities would conduct a civil rights investigation.
As previously reported, the incident took place on July 17, when Eric Garner died at the hands of Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
A video was shot by an onlooker and shared online, showing the 43-year-old Garner telling a group of police officers to leave him alone as they tried to arrest him. According to the clip, Pantaleo responded by wrapping his arm around Garner’s neck in what appeared to be a chokehold, which is banned under New York Police Department policy.
Garner, who had asthma, was heard repeatedly gasping, “I can’t breathe!”
Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said the grand jury found “no reasonable cause” to bring charges. The grand jury could have considered a range of charges, from reckless endangerment to murder.