On Wednesday, a grand jury in Staten Island voted not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being place in a chokehold by Pantaleo during an arrest.
Garner was being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. The incident was videotaped, you can see the video here.
When confronted by police officers, he pleaded that he was doing nothing wrong and that the police were profiling him as they usually do. Eric Garner was a heavy set man. As the police moved in to arrest him, Garner put his hands in the air to avoid being arrested. Pantaleo grabbed his neck and put him in a chokehold to take him down. Garner then died from lack of air.
There has been a wide response to this incident, just as there was from Michael Brown in Ferguson. Last night, after the news that Pantaleo would not be charged, protests erupted throughout New York City.
Pantaleo release a statement, saying, "It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly thinks Eric Garner should have never been killed.
"[Garner] should not have resisted, but all americans, every one of us, should pity Mr. Garner and his family," O'Reilly said, adding that he was "extremely troubled" by the video and would have loosened his grip after hearing Garner say he couldn't breathe. "He did not deserve what happened to him. And I think Officer Pantaleo and every other American police officer -- every one -- would agree with me. He didn't deserve that."
Regardless, recent police killings of African Americans have not resulted in indictment. Civil rights leader Al Sharpton commented on the grand jury's decision.
“People thought we were being extreme,” Sharpton said. “But now, I think you can see, we have no confidence in the state grand juries, whether in Ferguson or in New York, because there is an intrinsic relationship between state prosecutors and the police; they depend on the police for their evidence, they run for office and depend on the unions for endorsements.
The New York Civil Liberties Union has called for wholesale reform of the NYPD.
“The failure of the Staten Island Grand Jury to file an indictment in the killing of Eric Garner leaves New Yorkers with an inescapable question: How will the NYPD hold the officers involved accountable for his death? And what will Commissioner Bratton do to ensure that this is the last tragedy of its kind?," said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.
In the meantime, Eric Garner is dead, and the police will not face charges.
Source: Huffington Post / Photo Credit: Screenshot