A grand jury declined to bring charges against a New York police officer following the death of Staten Island man Eric Garner, Richmond County district attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. said in a written statement to the media.
“After deliberation on the evidence presented in this matter, the grand jury found that there was no reasonable cause to vote an indictment,” the statement reads.
Garner, 43, died July 17 after Officer Daniel Pantaleo was filmed placing him in what appears to be a chokehold during an arrest.
Garner family attorney Jonathan Moore told the Associated Press that the family was “astonished by the decision.” Speaking to the New York Times, Moore added, “It’s very upsetting to us – we obviously hope that the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, Loretta Lynch, will take a close look at this.”
“We think people should express their objections to this grand jury verdict, but we urge on behalf of the family that any protest be peaceful,” Moore said.Pantaleo commented on the decision in a statement released through the NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves,” he said, adding, “it is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.
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