During a Wednesday press conference, the widow of Eric Garner said she didn't accept the apology of a New York police officer she believes is responsible for her husband’s death.
“Hell no,” Esaw Garner said in response to the only question to follow the press conference. “The time for remorse would have been when my husband was screaming to breathe. That would have been the time for him to show some type of remorse or some type of care for another human being's life, when he was screaming 11 times that he can't breathe.”
NBC News reports Garner’s family held the conference after a New York grand jury declined to indict city police officer Daniel Pantaleo in connection with the 43-year-old’s death. Standing alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton outside the headquarters of Sharpton’s National Action Network, the family expressed disappointment in the grand jury’s decision.
Pantaleo was caught on video placing Garner in what one medical examiner described as a chokehold during a July 17 incident in which Garner was suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes on a street corner.
According to The Huffington Post, Garner, who suffered from asthma, is heard on the video repeatedly saying he can’t breathe. He died a short time later.
Pantaleo issued a statement in which he apologized for the incident.
“It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
Garner said that wasn’t enough.
“No, I don't accept his apology,” she continued Wednesday. “No, I could care less about his condolences. No, I could care less. He's still working, he's still getting a paycheck, he's still feeding his kids, and my husband is six feet under, and I'm looking for a way to feed my kids now.”
Pantaleo has reportedly been put on desk duty pending an internal investigation into the incident that could result in administrative charges.