Just over three years after a grand jury decided not to indict New York Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, federal civil rights prosecutors have recommended charges in the matter. According to the New York Times, three current and former officials with the Justice Department revealed the recommendations, adding that those working at a higher level in the department “have expressed strong reservations about whether to move forward with a case they say may not be winnable.”
Per the Times, civil rights prosecutors have sought approval for the recommended charges from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein:
Mr. Rosenstein has convened several meetings that revealed divisions within the Justice Department over whether to move forward. No decision has been made, but one law enforcement official said that, based on the discussions so far, it appeared unlikely that Mr. Rosenstein would approve charges.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also been briefed on the case and could weigh in after Mr. Rosenstein makes his own recommendation, officials said.
Not only was Officer Pantaleo not indicted in Garner’s death, but he has since reportedly received several raises. The NYPD was also caught rewriting the Wikipedia page entry on the incident. Meanwhile, witness Ramsey Orta, who recorded Pantaleo’s chokehold of Garner and the cry-turned-protest “I can’t breathe,” was sentenced to four years in jail related to previous criminal charges. To make matters worse, Eric’s sister-turned-activist, Erica Garner died last September after suffering a massive heart attack.
(Via New York Times)