Mother of Eric Garner writes powerful essay after decline to prosecute police officer who killed him
Eric Garner’s chokehold death, captured on cellphone video, will not lead to federal charges for the NYPD officer who killed him.
This decision, announced yesterday, angered his family who had waited five years for Officer Daniel Pantaleo to be brought to justice.
Garner’s mother Gwen Carr wrote a passionate piece for The New York Daily News saying her son who died after being choked into submission, was killed all over again on Tuesday.
“Five years ago, my son said “I can’t breathe” 11 times as officers placed him in a banned chokehold and killed him. After patiently waiting, following the rules, hoping for accountability and closure, we now learn that the Department of Justice has decided not to bring federal charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo,” Carr wrote.
“The DOJ has killed Eric all over again, and today we are the ones who are finding it difficult to breathe.”
Carr, and many others, believe Pantaleo and the other officers involved got away with murder.
“Everyone saw what happened; the entire world watched as my son’s life was taken by those who swore an oath to protect and serve. It was all captured on video, in plain view, and yet somehow Pantaleo and all of the officers involved in Eric’s murder have been able to walk away with a slap on the wrist — if that.”
Pantaleo, Carr said, was never penalized and has continued to receive his nearly $120,000 pay over the years and even got $20,000 more in overtime pay.
“In fact, the only “punishment” he ever received was being placed on desk duty, where he’s been able to rack up pay and pension benefits.
“Meanwhile, I will never get my son back. My grandchildren will never have their father. My family will never see Eric’s beautiful smile again,” she wrote.
“The NYPD failed us. Mayor de Blasio failed us. And now the DOJ has failed us. But we aren’t going anywhere and we will not be silenced.”
Carr said she and her family will continue to push to get Pantaleo and the other officers fired. According to the New York Times, it will be up to Commissioner James P. O’Neill to decide whether to fire Officer Pantaleo.
“We are asking Police Commissioner James O’Neill to fire Pantaleo and all of the officers responsible for Eric’s death. They all must be off the force.”