Widespread protests have erupted in New York after a Staten Island grand jury on Wednesday refused to indict an NYPD officer who killed an unarmed African American man.
Eric Garner, 43, was killed by a White 29-year-old police officer Daniel Pantaleo, after putting him in a choke hold while trying to arrest him because they suspected he was selling untaxed cigarettes, NBC reports. Garner, who was reportedly asthmatic, died shortly after the incident.
According to reports, the NYPD’s patrol guide explicitly prohibits choke holds.
Here’s a video of the arrest, which went viral shortly after the incident, which occurred in July 2014:
A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, stating that “compression of the neck and chest, along with Garner’s positioning on the ground while being restrained by police during the July 17 stop on Staten Island, caused his death.”
The grand jury’s decision to end the criminal case against Pantaleo has been condemned by elected officials and sparked off a wave of protests.
In the aftermath of the grand jury’s ruling the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter began trending on Twitter:
Photo/Video Credit: Youtube