By Bill Chappell
Originally published on npr.org, December 3, 2014.
A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk this past July.
“It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
The encounter between Garner and officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an uproar after video footage of the incident was released. It showed Garner repeatedly gasping, “I can’t breathe,” as Pantaleo and other officers took him to the ground.
Garner family attorney Jonathon Moore says he’s “astonished by the decision” not to have Pantaleo face charges, member station WNYC reports.
Shortly after the grand jury decision became public, a law enforcement source confirmed to NPR’s Carrie Johnson that the U.S. Justice Department has opened a federal probe into Garner’s death.