feature image via New Yorker
A Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a white police officer who killed Eric Garner on July 7th, 2014. Garner was being questioned for selling loose cigarettes when he was restrained by Pantaleo in a chokehold — a tactic that is against the police department’s policy. Garner’s arrest was caught on video where you can hear him say his last words, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”
Garner’s death was ruled a homicide but today’s decision means the officer won’t face criminal charges but may face other disciplinary actions. The decision was reached after months of testimony. The jury then decides if there’s enough evidence for a criminal trial.
This grand jury decision comes more than a week after the St. Louis grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson for Michael Brown’s death.
Eric Garner was illegally choked to death on camera by a white police officer and yet this was the outcome, leading us to believe that our system can get away with murdering Black people, just because they can.