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The Justice Department will not bring federal charges against a New York City police officer in the death of Eric Garner, ending an inquiry into a case that launched national police brutality protests with the “I Can’t Breathe” message.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn will reportedly announce the decision not to bring civil rights or criminal charges on Tuesday morning, just one day before the fifth anniversary of Garner’s death, which was captured on a bystander’s cellphone, at the hands of Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
The attorney general at the time of Garner’s death, Eric H. Holder Jr., said that evidence strongly suggested that the federal government should bring charges against Pantaleo.
Pantaleo has been relegated to desk duty, with pay and benefits, since killing Garner with a illegal chokehold on July 17, 2014.
According to the New York Times, it will be up to Commissioner James P. O’Neill, as the final arbiter of police discipline, to decide whether to fire Officer Pantaleo.
None of the other New York officers involved in Eric Garner’s death have been charged with a crime or disciplined by the NYPD.
A state grand jury declined to bring charges against Pantaleo in December 2014.
Rev. Al Sharpton and Eric Garner’s family members are scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors today and will hold a press conference.
The attorney general at the time of the death, Eric H. Holder Jr., said that evidence strongly suggested that the federal government should bring charges against Officer Pantaleo