• Today
    August 25

  • 09:37 PM

Hundreds protest in New York after police officer avoids charges in chokehold case


Added 17 July 2019


People attend a news conference with Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, following the decision to not prosecute NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo at City Hall in New York, US, July 16, 2019. (Reuters)

NEW YORK – Several hundred people took to the streets of New York on Wednesday to protest a decision by the United States Department of Justice not to bring federal charges against a policeman accused in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man in 2014.

The demonstrators also directed their anger at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has declined to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the five years since Eric Garner died in police custody.

De Blasio, one of more than 20 Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for president, told reporters on Wednesday that he was surprised to learn that the Justice Department would not be bringing charges and regretted delaying the start of disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo at the DOJ’s request.

“You can do something about it,” said Takiema McKiver, 30, from St Albans, Queens, responding to de Blasio’s comments. “You can’t just say that you can’t do something about police brutality. You’re the mayor; this is your city.”

McKiver, who is black, said she could be the next victim of police brutality.

De Blasio said New York City’s police commissioner would decide by August whether to punish or fire Pantaleo, who has been on desk duty since he was seen in bystanders’ cell phone videos putting Garner in a chokehold and wrestling him to the ground on July 17, 2014.

Garner is heard in videos saying “I can’t breathe!” at least 11 times shortly before he died.

The death of Garner, 43, who was initially approached by police because they suspected him of illegally selling untaxed cigarettes, touched off a nationwide furore and helped give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

In announcing that it would not bring charges against Pantaleo, Justice Department officials said they could not reach a conclusive determination as to whether Pantaleo wilfully committed misconduct, which must be established to prove that he violated Garner’s civil rights.

Protesters chanted “Hey hey, ho ho Pantaleo has got to go!” and “I can’t breathe!” as they were addressed by civic rights activists. Filmmaker Spike Lee mingled in the throng, accompanied by a camera operator, but declined to speak to a Reuters reporter.

Pantaleo was the latest example of a law enforcement officer in the United States to avoid criminal liability here in killings of unarmed black men in recent years. (Reuters)


Dos and Donts

Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus


Do you believe the Rock Hall squatters should be entitled to a $25 000 grant or a loan to move out of the area?