A grand jury in Staten Island on Wednesday cleared NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold case of Eric Garner. Garner 43-year-old unarmed black man died July 17. The medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide partly because of the chokehold. Garner’s health issue including obesity were also included as contributing factors. Family members scheduled a press conference with civil rights leader Al Sharpton for Wednesday night. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would meet with elected officials, clergy members and activists on Staten Island before holding a press conference later Wednesday.
The grand jury decision comes on the heels of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson not being indicted for shooting an 18-year old black man, which set off waves of protests across the country. Pantaleo was the only officer facing charges and has been on desk duty since the death of Garner. The case grabbed national headlines and sparked outrage weeks before the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, set off a firestorm over police tactics and race relations. Two police officers turned in their guns as well as four emergency workers were suspended. This video stirred up accusations of racism from the NYPD which forced de Blasio to delay his overseas trip. (Read More @ Examiner.com)