New York Judge to Hear Arguments to Determine if Grand Jury Proceedings for Eric Garner Case Will Be Made Public

Protesters display a banner and placards during a demonstration outside the courthouse in the New York City borough of Staten Island Jan. 5, 2015, before a hearing in a state lawsuit seeking the release of grand jury proceedings concerning the death of Eric Garner.  JEWEL SAMAD/GETTY IMAGES
Protesters display a banner and placards during a demonstration outside the courthouse in the New York City borough of Staten Island Jan. 5, 2015, before a hearing in a state lawsuit seeking the release of grand jury proceedings concerning the death of Eric Garner.
JEWEL SAMAD/GETTY IMAGES

The public may soon be able to read the grand jury proceedings that led to the decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the New York City police officer who fatally choked Eric Garner. On Monday a judge at the New York Supreme Court announced that he would hear arguments later this month to decide whether the grand jury transcripts will be unsealed and released to the public, the New York Times reports. Four groups had petitioned the court to release the documents: the Legal Aid Society; the New York Civil Liberties Union; Letitia James, the city’s public advocate; and one news outlet, the New York Post.

The judge presiding over the case, Justice William E. Garnett, told the four groups that he would hear their arguments on Jan. 29. He will also hear the arguments of their opposition, Staten Island District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr., who argued in papers filed on Friday that the grand jury proceedings should remain sealed.

Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, was sitting in the courtroom on Monday when the judge scheduled the hearing. Carr described how she would like the documents to be made public in order to shed light on what the grand jury deliberated over. “At least we’ll have some transparency and see what they were ruling on,” Carr said outside the courtroom.

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Source: The Root | 

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