New York — [Breaking news update, published at 2:39 p.m. ET]
A grand jury decided against an indictment Wednesday in the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, who died after white police officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a chokehold, according to two law enforcement officials.
During his fatal police encounter, Garner raised both hands in the air and told the officers not to touch him. Seconds later, a video shows an officer behind him grab him in a chokehold and pull him to the sidewalk, rolling him onto his stomach.
“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Garner said repeatedly, his cries muffled into the pavement.
The cause of Garner’s death was “compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police,” the medical examiner’s office has said. The death was ruled a homicide.
[Original story, published at 12:03 p.m. ET]
Echoes of Ferguson: Will New York cop face charges in chokehold death?
A black man dies after a confrontation with a white policeman. Crowds take to the streets incensed, decrying police brutality. And a grand jury is called to hear the case.
The place is not Ferguson, and the case is not Michael Brown’s. It’s Staten Island, New York. And on Wednesday, a grand jury is expected to decide whether to indict white Officer Daniel Pantaleo, two officials said, who put African-American Eric Garner in a chokehold.
The New York City Police Department prohibits the move.
“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe,” Garner cried out after he went down on July 17. Seconds later, the 350-pound man, who suffered from asthma, lay motionless and unresponsive on the sidewalk. An ambulance carried him away on a stretcher.
He was pronounced dead that day at age 43.
Police had suspected him of illegal vending. He had been arrested on the same suspicion two months prior and had a lengthy criminal record, including 30 arrests.