The Justice Department said Tuesday it will not levy charges against the New York City police officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner whose last words — “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying call for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Police confronted 43-year-old Garner — a black man — in July 2014 when he was alleged to have sold cigarettes individually — a crime in the New York City area. Garner died while officers attempted to place him under arrest in what became a viral video, throttling anti-cop sentiment in the country, USA Today reported.
Daniel Pantaleo is the officer credited with an alleged chokehold that may have possibly led to Garner’s death. A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict him in December 2014, The Associated Press reported.
Obama-era U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder commenced a civil rights investigation on the same day of the jury verdict. The investigation did not yield a conviction in its five-year span.
Rallies headed by Black Lives Matter and other groups protested a perceived injustice after Garner passed, spouting anti-cop rhetoric. (RELATED: ‘F*ck Pigs!’ New Yorkers Take To The Streets Three Years After Eric Garner’s Death)
Two New York City Police Department officers were gunned down in their patrol car in December 2014 — the gunman echoing sentiments of revenge for Garner’s death.
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