BREAKING: ‘Today we can’t breathe.’ Family, Dem lawmakers react after DOJ announces decision in death of Eric Garner


WASHINGTON – The Justice Department will not bring federal charges against a New York City police officer over the death of Eric Garner during a chaotic arrest that ignited nationwide protests five years ago.

The decision, announced Tuesday by Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue, marks the end of a civil rights probe into an episode – much of it captured on video – that helped turn a national spotlight on how police officers use force against minorities.

The article goes on to state the following:

“Like many of you, I have watched that video many times, and each time I’ve watched it, I’m left with the same reaction: that the death of Eric Garner was a tragedy,” Donoghue said.  “The job of a federal prosecutor, however, is not to let our emotions dictate our decisions. Our job is to review the evidence gathered during the investigation, like the video, to assess whether we can prove that a federal crime was committed.”

Authorities spent years investigating Garner’s death in an examination that proved contentious both inside and outside of the Justice Department. Attorneys in the department’s Civil Rights Division long advocated for bringing a criminal charge, while prosecutors in Brooklyn recommended against it.

In the end, Donoghue said Attorney General William Barr broke the logjam, deciding in recent days that Justice would not bring a federal civil rights prosecution against officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Garner’s family has reacted in outrage over the decision. The 43–year-old man died as police attempted to arrest him for selling cigarettes outside a store in Staten Island.

New York Attorney General Letitia James condemned the decision, tweeting, “This inaction by the DOJ in the death of Eric Garner shows they’ve turned their back on seeking & serving justice. We all saw the same devastating video 5 years ago. Our eyes did not lie. We’ll continue to fight to reform a criminal justice system that remains broken.”

Multiple Democrat lawmakers and 2020 presidential candidates voiced their outrage as well, in the tweets below:

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