Federal prosecutors have convened a grand jury to hear evidence in the 2014 death of Eric Garner, the New York Daily News and New York Times are reporting. The U.S. Department of Justice began investigating Garner’s death after a New York grand jury declined to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who placed him in the chokehold that killed him.
Staten Island district attorney Daniel Donovan has won a special election for the house seat left open by disgraced congressman Michael Grimm, who pled guilty to felony tax evasion in December, The New York Times reports. Donovan is the same D.A. whose office failed last year to secure an indictment for Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner.
Earlier this month, Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan made headlines for failing to secure an indictment for Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner. This week, Donovan is in the papers again, this time as the Republican Party's "clear front runner" for the congressional seat opened up by outgoing representative/convicted felon Michael Grimm.
A ceremony at Madison Square Garden yesterday morning marked the graduation of 884 new officers into the New York Police Department. When Mayor Bill de Blasio took the podium to address the graduating class, praising them for their courage and determination, he was greeted like an unpopular high school principal: with boos, jeers, and the turning of backs. When he talked about the officers facing "problems [they] don't create," someone in the audience called back: "You created them!"
Earlier today, Eric Garner's daughter visited the memorial for Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, the two NYPD officers killed on Saturday. "I just had to come out and let their family know that we stand with them, and I'm going to send my prayers and condolences to all the families who are suffering through this tragedy," Emerald Garner told ABC News.
Patrick Lynch is the 51-year-old president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the largest and most influential union of the New York City Police Department. You might recognize his name: Over the weekend, Lynch blamed Bill de Blasio for the Saturday deaths of two Brooklyn cops who were murdered by a lone gunman from Georgia. “That blood on the hands,” he said at a press conference, “starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.”
"I can't breathe," the last words Eric Garner spoke before he died of an NYPD-delivered chokehold, have been adopted as a powerful statement against police brutality and institutional racism. But one cop/uniform company owner prefers a different slogan, one that reassures you you'll be able to keep breathing as long as you don't cross a police officer.
If you were so inclined, watching the video of Eric Garner's death, there are a few flimsy defenses you could make of the killer cop. You could say the use of force was warranted, or that Garner was wrong to resist arrest. One seemingly irrefutable point, however, is that Daniel Pantaleo choked him.
David Brooks, a man with a national newspaper platform upon which he can reflect and analyze events for potentially millions of readers, is using that rich platform to ruminate on the recent grand jury non-indictments in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, innocent men who were killed for no reason by police officers.