Erica Garner held a vigil and “die-in” on Staten Island Thursday in memory of her father, the 43-year-old who died while being taken into NYPD custody earlier this year.
After gathering on Bay Street in St. George for a vigil, protesters marched to the corner of Bay Street and Victory Boulevard in Tompkinsville where Garner died and lay down in the road.
Protesters were also gathering at Union Square Park in Manhattan for a march to Police Plaza.
Thursday marks the eighth consecutive day of protests in the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was seen on widely watched amateur video wrapping his arm around Garner’s neck during the July 17 confrontation as the asthmatic father of six gasped, “I can’t breathe!” nearly a dozen times.
The medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide by chokehold. Garner’s health issues, including obesity, were listed as contributing factors in the autopsy. In delivering a “no true bill” vote last week, the grand jury found there was no probable cause Pantaleo committed either manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide, the two charges sources familiar with the case told NBC 4 New York the jurors were considering.
Pantaleo met with NYPD internal affairs investigators Wednesday and answered questions for about two hours, his lawyer said. The officer and the police union say Pantaleo didn’t use a chokehold, which is forbidden under NYPD policy, but a takedown move taught by the department.
Pantaleo said in a statement shortly after the grand jury decision was announced that he became a police officer to help people.
“It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner,” he said. “My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
SOURCE: NBC 4 New York