Left: Attorney General Loretta Lynch (REUTERS); Right: 2014 arrest of Eric Garner.

Justice Department Replaces Team Investigating Eric Garner Death

In an unusual move, Attorney General Loretta Lynch has taken New York-based lawyers and investigators off the team tasked to Eric Garner’s case, meaning the federal criminal investigation into Eric Garner’s death may finally be moving forward — two years after his death.


The investigation into Garner’s 2014 death was stalled due to conflicting opinions on whether or not a criminal case would hold up in court. Federal prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation staffers based in New York were hesitant to move forward, while the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department in Washington believes there is sufficient evidence to bring forth federal criminal charges.

Garner died in Staten Island after officers confronted him for selling loose cigarettes. Officer Daniel Pantaleo put Garner into a fatal chokehold, at which time Garner uttered his now famous last words, “I can’t breathe,” a phrase that has become symbolic for activists protesting police brutality. Pantaleo has remained on desk duty since the incident.

In December 2014 a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo.

Related Story: Eric Garner’s Family Agrees To $5.9 Million Settlement

Five federal officials from New York and Washington spoke to the New York Times on the condition of anonymity. According to officials, it is not yet clear if Washington officials would work alone in presenting evidence and eventually trying the case.

A decision on whether to bring forth federal charges is still likely many months away, officials stated, adding that it will not be easy even if a grand jury decides to indict. The Justice Department’s case would go to trial despite the fact that investigators and prosecutors from New York have already stated there is insufficient evidence. According to the officials, the defense could call these FBI agents to testify.

Aftermath of Garner’s Death: Video Footage and Disciplinary Charges

According to Pantaleo, he didn’t mean to put Garner in a chokehold and he feared he would fall through a storefront window during the encounter. New York prosecutors and FBI agents claim video footage of the fatal arrest supports Pantaleo’s account, while Washington-based officials argue it shows Pantaleo’s wrongdoing.

Ramsey Orta, the man who shot the footage of Garner’s death, was recently sentenced to four years in jail on separate charges. He has alleged suffering harassment from law enforcement as retaliation for filming the incident. Meanwhile, in the two years since Garner’s death, Pantaleo has received a substantial pay raise, ThinkProgress reported.

Related Story: NYPD Finally Finds Someone to Hold Accountable for Eric Garner’s Murder — A Black Woman

So far only one person has been disciplined in Garner’s death. In January NYPD Sergeant Kizzy Adonis received internal disciplinary charges. Adonis, who is Black, received four counts of “failure to supervise” charges. According to a police source, Adonis faces charges due to her inaction at the scene, saying, “If you look at the video, she just stood there.”

At least one witness to Garner’s arrest provided a different account. The store manager of Bay Beauty Supply (located on Bay Street, where Garner’s arrest and death occurred) said he heard Adonis tell the other officers, “Let him up, you got him already.” One officer looked up but did not let go of Garner.

Read more @ DiversityInc.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Latest News

FreedomPay Announces An Agreement With Marriott International For Commerce Technology Innovation

Originally Published by Marriott The award winning FreedomPay Commerce Platform™ has been widely recognized for driving innovation, transformation and growth across a wide range of industries FreedomPay, an innovative leader in commerce technologies, today announced an agreement with Marriott International to adopt FreedomPay’s award winning commerce platform to be used…

Humana Improves Health and Reduces $3.5 Billion in Health Care Costs through Medicare Advantage Value-Based Care Programs

Originally Published by Humana Helping people living with multiple chronic conditions achieve their optimal whole-person health has been a strategic initiative for Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM). Today, Humana announced that the company has lowered overall health care costs and helped deliver improved health outcomes for Humana’s Medicare Advantage beneficiaries affiliated…

keep punching response Joe Biden presidential debate domestic violence women

Biden Puts Foot in Mouth Again With ‘Keep Punching’ Comment During Domestic Violence Segment of Democratic Debate

Joe Biden just can’t seem to keep his foot out of his mouth. Whether it was accidental or on purpose, the former vice president’s attempt at using a pun to condemn domestic violence against women took an ugly turn during Wednesday night’s fifth Democratic presidential debate. Related Story: Joe Biden…

Accenture Introduces Offering to Help Financial Institutions Combat Financial Crime and Comply with Regulations

Originally posted on Accenture.com Compliance-as-a-service offering expands Accenture’s managed service capabilities Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has introduced a compliance-as-a-service offering to help financial institutions, fintech and technology companies cost-effectively combat financial crime and comply with related regulations. Navigating the regulations that combat financial crime can be very expensive, and financial institutions have incurred…

AT&T Launches New Initiative Focused on Youth Safety and Success in Albuquerque

Originally posted on ATT.com Believe Albuquerque Aims to Help Local Nonprofits Expand Outreach Programs AT&T* is committed to helping build a better tomorrow for Albuquerque’s youth. We’re doing that through Believe Albuquerque℠, a new initiative focused on their safety and success. Albuquerque’s young people face many challenges that can impede them from…

KPMG and the Latino Corporate Directors Association Examine Latino Representation in the Boardrooms of U.S. Corporations.

Originally Published by KPMG Latino representation on Fortune 1000 boards KPMG and the Latino Corporate Directors Association examine Latino representation in the boardrooms of U.S. corporations. The importance of the Latino community to the U.S. economy cannot be overstated. Latinos comprise just over 18% of the US population1 and this percentage…