July 17th is the four year anniversary of the death of Eric Garner. Eric Garner was 43-years old and in Staten Island selling untaxed cigarettes when he was approached by officers Justin Damico and Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo placed Eric in a choke hold and in spite of Eric saying “I can’t breathe, Pantaleo continued applying pressure until Eric was unconscious.
Erica Garner, left. Eric Garner, right.
A bystander recorded the confrontation on cell phone, giving viewers an unobstructed view of the choke hold which, along with the compression of his chest by officers, was found to be a cause of Eric’s death.
In December 2014, a grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo. Like Darren Wilson who killed Mike Brown, Pantaleo was allowed to testify before the grand jury on his own behalf.
Then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will conduct its own investigation into Eric’s death. Then United States Attorney Loretta Lynch took over the investigation until she became the United States Attorney General, replacing Eric Holder. Local FBI investigators and federal prosecutors determined that charges should not be brought in the case, and Attorney Lynch then removed the local FBI agents and federal prosecutors from the case, and assigned the investigation to agents outside of New York. Read the rest of this entry