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Nearly five years to the day of Eric Garner’s tragic death, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it will not charge NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo with any federal or civil rights crimes for his unlawful contact with the deceased.
Officer Pantaleo was placed on modified desk duty after placing 43-year-old Eric Garner in an unlawful chokehold, which quickly led to his death. Garner was captured on video, repeatedly telling Pantaleo and other officers on scene, “I can’t breathe” 11 times, but was ignored.
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The DOJ’s decision not to pursue charges against Pantaleo comes exactly one day before the five-year anniversary of Garner’s death. It also marks the day before the final deadline for federal charges to be filed.
NBC News reports “U.S. Attorney General William Barr made the final decision not to charge Pantaleo, choosing to follow the recommendations of Brooklyn prosecutors,” according to a senior Justice Department official.
Although the medical examiner ruled the New York father of six’s death a homicide in 2014, a grand jury chose not to indict the Staten Island-based cop while the city of New York reached a $5.9 million wrongful death settlement with Garner’s family.