July 17, 2019
Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images
In 2014 Eric Garner was killed by white NYPD officer, Daniel Pantaleo, in New York and after a five-year investigation, the Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that no charges would be brought against the officer.
Expectedly and understandably so, members of Garner’s family are outraged by this decision. Standing next to Rev. Al Sharpton, Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, and his daughter, Emerald Garner held a press conference to make a public statement calling for the involved officers to be fired.
The civil rights investigation commenced after Pantaleo placed an unarmed Garner in a chokehold while arresting him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. The case would have reached the statute of limitations on Wednesday, the fifth anniversary of Garner’s death.
The DOJ released a statement that there was “insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that Pantaleo intentionally harmed the father of six.
These words do not sit well with many as it is hard to forget the infamous video that shows Garner’s death and filled with “I can’t breath” cries from the 43-year-old.
Garner’s death is sadly on the list of names of murdered unarmed African Americans whos killers remain free from charges and accountability. These instances have sparked protests and fueled the Black Lives Matter Movement. His story was featured along with Sandra Bland, Ezell Ford, and John Crawford, in the TV One docuseries Two Sides which was produced and written by Viola Davis.
Sadly, Erica Garner, Emerald’s younger sister, died from a heart attack at just 27-years-old in 2017 after dedicating her life to bring justice and awareness to her father’s death.