BY: Liliana Rocio, Senior Editor For World Liberty TV
The new waves of outrage follow the U.S. Justice Department’s decision this week to not file civil rights charges against New York City Police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who put Garner in the chokehold that city officials say cost the Staten Island man his life.
De Blasio has come under intense criticism from protesters and Garner’s family following the Justice Department’s decision for failing to publicly demand Police Commissioner James O’Neill fire Pantaleo, who is awaiting the verdict of an administrative trial that could cost him his job.
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, renewed her call for Pantaleo’s termination in a blistering statement she put out following the Gracie Mansion meeting.
“It is outrageous that I have had to be fighting for five years to get the Mayor to do his job to make sure that there is accountability when the NYPD murders our children,” Carr said. “The Mayor has been dragging his heels and obstructing accountability at every turn for the past five years.”See also NYPD cop dodges federal charges in Eric Garner’s choke hold death.
“Actions speak louder than words and so far I still haven’t seen action,” she later added. “I want to see action and will not stop fighting for my son until Pantaleo and all the other officers who did wrong are fired.”
The meeting was organized by Rev. Al Sharpton late Thursday morning at de Blasio’s request after protestors announced plans to march on the mayoral residence on the Upper East Side, City Hall said.
Hizzoner was joined by First Lady Chirlane McCray as he met with Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, and his daughter, Emerald. Garner’s widow, Esaw, joined by telephone.
The meeting began around 2 p.m. and lasted for more than an hour, a City Hall spokeswoman said. Carr was present for the entire meeting, while Esaw and Emerald attended for part.
After the emotional sit down, Carr joined the protesters outside who chanted “Fire Pantaleo!”
“We’re going to continue to protest until Pantaleo is fired,” said Sharpton, adding that the Garner family expressed frustration during the meeting with the mayor.
While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted a holiday party at his Gracie Mansion home, protestors gathered outside as part of a demonstration .The Protest was Organized by Justice League NYC as a continued response to the police misconduct and recent killings going on in our communities.
For the daughter of Eric Garner, the fight to bring her father’s killer to justice has proved long and slow.
“As I contemplate this past year — a year full of upheaval and struggles for justice — I’m struck by what has changed: nothing,” Erica Garner wrote in a blog Thursday.
Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of when a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, in the death of her father, who was black. The decision came despite a disturbing and widely watched video of the fatal encounter that shows Pantaleo putting Garner into a prohibited chokehold maneuver during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner falls to the ground and screams “I can’t breathe!” 11 times before his body goes still.
The grand jury’s decision — which came just over a week after the non-indictment of a white officer in the death of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri — set off massive protests across the city and the country. Garner’s infamous last words — “I can’t breathe!” — echoed through Times Square, in Grand Central Terminal, across the Brooklyn Bridge and on the modest Staten Island block where Garner last stood.
If prosecutors couldn’t even indict Pantaleo, protesters asked, what are the chances of other officers using excessive force being brought to justice? Do black lives really matter?
“Sure, Pantaleo, the officer who choked my father to death, had to appear before a grand jury, but Staten Island’s then District Attorney Daniel Donovan gave immunity to the other officers involved,” Erica continued. “And where is Donovan now? Congress.”
Plus — and for Erica, “this is the part that hurts the most” — Staten Island’s new district attorney, Daniel Master, could simply convene another grand jury to indict Pantaleo, but has given no indication he plans to do so.
In her blog post Thursday, Erica Garner included a memo she composed with New York City Public Advocate Letitia James during a meeting in October. For the Garner family, the memo says, “achieving justice” will require three things.
First, “The Civilian Complaint Review Board’s (CCRB) release of a summary of its records regarding Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s history of substantiated complaints brought against him to the CCRB.”
Second, the family wants “the unsealing of the minutes from the grand jury proceeding” as overseen by then-District Attorney Donovan. (Repeated efforts in court to get these records released have failed.)
And third, the family says Daniel Master, the current district attorney, needs to convene “a new grand jury” or reconvene “the original grand jury based on the applicable grounds permitted by law.
Close to 500 Hundred Protesters were at the Rally at Gracie Mansion, close to 5 people were arrested, more protests and rallies are planned including one in Washington DC, in the coming days.
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