It's been over five years since the death of Eric Garner who was murdered at the hands of the NYPD. Daniel Pantaleo, the arresting officer, went after Garner on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Pantaleo ended up putting Garner in a chokehold and suffocating him to death, despite Garner repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe." Even though the medical examiner determined Garner's death was a homicide, prosecutors have decided against charging Pantaleo for the death of Garner.
After the Justice Department concluded their five-year investigation, Pantaleo will not be facing any charges for murdering Eric Garner in the streets of New York. Attorney General William Barr followed the recommendation of the prosecutors on the case. The decision arrives just a day before the fifth anniversary of Garner's murder which simultaneously served as the deadline for prosecutors to file charges against Pantaleo. Despite the AG's decision, the Civil Rights Division were caught off guard by the decision.
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Unsurprisingly, the decision to not charge Pantaleo is based on "insufficient evidence" as well as lack of proof that the officer "willfully" killed Garner during the arrest. Apparently, the video evidence of Pantaleo suffocating Garner until he was lifeless wasn't enough proof. Despite the medical examiners ruling and the fact that chokeholds are prohibited by the NYPD, Pantaleo argued that he used a "seatbelt" on Garner which is an approved tactic by the New York Police Department. Additionally, Pantaleo's lawyer said that prosecutors decided that his client didn't violate anyone's civil rights.