US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard Donoghue, announced during a press conference Tuesday that the Department of Justice will not pursue charges against a New York City police officer in the death of Eric Garner.
The incident involving police officer Daniel Pantaleo and Eric Garner featured a recorded video of the altercation that prompted protests after Garner died from not being able to breathe from the officer’s choke hold. The US Attorney cited the high legal standard protecting police officers mistakes, fear, misconceptions, or even poor judgment while on the job and the lack of evidence demonstrating willful conduct to prosecute Pantaleo. The decision made by Attorney General William Barr ends a five-year battle to prosecute Pantaleo for criminal charges related to Garner’s death in 2014.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has also brought separate departmental charges against Pantaleo for using a chokehold on Garner, a illegal practice of the NYPD. The departmental charges could ultimately lead to Pantaleo losing his job with the NYPD.