A grand jury has convened and is expected to announce this week whether NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo will face criminal charges in the alleged chokehold death of Eric Garner, reported CNN.
Eric Garner, 43, father of six, died on July 17, after NYPD officers confronted and apprehended him on Staten Island via a chokehold for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally.
During his apprehension, Garner is heard repeatedly telling the officers that he could not breathe.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s office later ruled Garner’s death a homicide. The cause of death was “compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”
Pantaleo testified for approximately two hours on November 21 in front of the grand jury:
“He was anxious and anxiety-filled prior to that,” said Stuart London, Pantaleo’s attorney. “He is cautiously optimistic and knows that his fate is in their hands now.”
The New York City Police Department prohibits the use of the chokehold tactic as a means of restraint. Yet, Pantaleo feels “cautiously optimistic” about the decision.
One big difference between Wilson and Pantaleo’s case was that the incident involving Pantaleo was recorded, whereas Wilson’s decision hinged largely upon his own sworn testimony.
Will the jury decide to indict Pantaleo? Will he ultimately face charges for homicide, as noted by the Medical Examiner? Or will it be an echo of Ferguson, whereby the jury absolves Officer Darren Wilson’s actions as justified and beyond further reproach?
Soon, we will find out.