Grand Jury Decides Not to Indict Officer Friendly Chokeholder for Eric Garner’s Murder, Sources Say

Updated from ‘Unofficial’ via SILive:

4:40 p.m. EST — Mayor: Protests must remain peaceful

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner was an outcome many New Yorkers did not want, but asked for any protests to be peaceful.

“Today’s outcome is one that many in our city did not want,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Yet New York City owns a proud and powerful tradition of expressing ourselves through non-violent protest. We trust that those unhappy with today’s grand jury decision will make their views known in the same peaceful, constructive way.”

My Hands Are Up

And yes. the news is everywhere. Those sources being… multiple law enforcement sources who had asked to be notified of the decision at least four hours before the announcement. Now the New York Post had claimed that the announcement may have come tomorrow instead of today because: Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lightning ceremony. Remember, #Black Lives Matter.

From Staten Island Advance:

‘The panel voted “no bill” and declined to file charges against Pantaleo.

Officials have yet to make an officials announcement.

The panel sat for more than two months hearing evidence in the high-profile case.

Garner, a 43-year-old father of six from Port Richmond, died of a police chokehold July 17 in Tompkinsville The city’s medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide caused by a chokehold.

Pantaleo can be seen in a video placing Garner in the maneuver while trying to arrest him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. [snip]

Witnesses say Garner was trying to break up a fight in front of a beauty supply store on the corner of Bay and Victory. Garner, who was taller than 6 feet and weighed at least 350 pounds, was a fixture in the neighborhood who often sold loose cigarettes for 50 cents each.

The incident sparked calls of police brutality as residents hung handwritten posters with phrases like “no justice, no peace” and “Another innocent black man has been killed by police brutality. The NYPD must be stopped!” on telephone poles near the scene about an hour after the incident.

One witness, Valencia Griffin, said she saw two men fighting outside of the beauty supply shop at 202 Bay St. in Tompkinsville. Garner, she said, tried to play peacemaker.

Eric Garner, 43, was pronounced dead, after a scuffle with police on Thursday evening.

“He [the victim] tried to break up the fight — the two guys fighting, they saw the cops coming and walked away,” Ms. Griffin said.

“All I kept hearing from him was, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,'” Ms. Griffin said. “He never fought back — he didn’t know why they were arresting him.”

Officer Friendly Chokeholder Pantaleo, as well as Serve-and-Protect Police D’Amico, Craig Furlani, Christopher Maldonado, William Meems and Mark Ramos, were named as defendants in the notice of claim filed by the Garner family planning to sue the city and the NYPD for $75 million. My guess is that there will be a huge award to the family, which consists of his wife and six children. Cold comfort blood money, but at least they can make the city pay for its cop’s assassinations.

Following the fatal encounter, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced that every officer in the 35,000-member NYPD will undergo retraining.

For more discussion on the case, please see ‘Is the Cop Who Murdered Eric Garner About to Be No-Billed? You’ll see the video that would have made one think that an indictment would have been a slam dunk, and leaked eyewitness witness testimony that was damning to Officer Pantaleo.

Earlier today, after announcing a new body cam pilot program in six commands; officials swear they won’t teach them how to disable them:

When the ‘offishul’ version comes, I’ll update.

See also:

‘Officer Daniel Pantaleo will likely be indicted if the grand jury finds intent to harm Eric Garner: expert: Finding that the officer was careless or that the arrest was bungled will not rise to the level of a crime. The grand jury needs to find malice, intent to hurt Mr. Garner or a gross disregard for his well-being in order to indict Pantaleo’ for hints and clues as to what the Grand Jurors likely heard.

From #ThisStopsToday all week, ‘Indictment or not, we’ll be hitting the streets to demand #JusticeforEricGarner and an end to broken windows policing.

A grand jury indictment doesn’t equal justice. In cases where a grand jury has indicted, the majority of time the officers are found not guilty at trial.’

Follow on https://twitter.com/thisstopstoday on Twitter.

I hear thunder rolling….and see hurricanes and lightning…

(cross-posted at My.Firedoglake.com)

23 responses to “Grand Jury Decides Not to Indict Officer Friendly Chokeholder for Eric Garner’s Murder, Sources Say

  1. @JohnAnnese 3m3 minutes ago

    And here’s a link to DA Dan Donovan’s full #EricGarner statement — http://rcda.nyc.gov/pdf/press/2014/ps12032014.pdf

  2. This is the popo in loco equivalent of preemptive PNAC Attacks upon impudent small sovereign nations, abroad. If justice could become incarnate in NY, Lady Liberty’d come off her pedestal and torch Svoboda Tower of the One World Slave Center (and we’d see whether fire alone could actually bring down a skyscraper).

  3. ye gods and little fishes, bruce. i can *almost* decode this comment. ;) but oh, my; i hope you look over yonder at all the protests that are happening across the land. no way to bring them all here, but it is simply magnificent!

    sleep well; i am bushed. er…obama-ed. er…amerika-ed.

  4. Wendye
    LOL

    Sleep well.

    Peace-Love-Solidarity

  5. zounds and OMG! last night’s protests were utterly glorious! i put some of them up at the end of this thread over yonder, both #thisstoptoday and the fast food, airport, and home health care workers.

    they closed down highways in chi, boston, bridges all over nyc, fruitvale station and more in oakland. the solidarity is truly stunning. so many different hues of skin in the crowds.

    i need a few days break to get my head together (as well as my grubby house), so i’ll see y’all when i can’t NOT post, okay?

    be well, and at least semi-hopeful. ;)

  6. Minneap[olis we shut down Highway 35. THE main artery for the Twin Cities. More protests being organized. this thing is alive. It is hard to keep up with the number of protests sweeping Minnesota and the entire country.

    As it should be

  7. Take a well earned rest, wendye. That was a marathon you ran, and the torch is still lit. A Christmas approaches that we can all find meaningful in the most important ways; that is my deepest wish.

    Lovely to see our old friends chiming in, wasn’t it? Even Uct and HFC, MAF – Oh, the names escape me but some who you remember better as well. All the true aristocrats – heh.

    Sorry to be so longwinded on a thread that was fast paced with ongoing immediate happenings. If it helped, good – if not, chuck it. My boys are always telling me I talk too much – Gig’s constant comment is “There’s no time…”
    ;-(

  8. apologies, michael cavlan; i should have mentioned minneapolis, and one one of the dozens of twitter pic urls was one, iirc. yes, completely thrilling, all of it, and the folks on the ground in ferguson are giddy at hearing their same chants being echoed all over the land.

    juliania: yes, i need the rest, but i also need to have a conversation with my ego identity as well. hopefully i will get all of the elements together in the next few days, and be a better human being.

    and yes to how good it was to hear from uncle, hotflashcarol, mafr, and even dwbartoo, who never gets on my threads any more. but then he was really there to…well, never mind. down, ego, down!

  9. Wendye and all.

    What I found beautiful as seeing live footage of protesters in Ferguson chanting FUCK CNN on CNN live TV. THEN having it happen again a few days later in New York. FUCK CNN- Live on CNN

    My story is complete. i will submit it today. When it is accepted (the editor of the Daily Planet already agreed to print it) I will let you know and send a link to it OK?

  10. We need your ego, wendye, so let’er fly! Yes, I noticed DWB’s support, so crucial when you are way out there dangling – I watched a silly movie the other night that showed how the racing catamarans dangle people out, way out to balance the huge sails, thought to myself, there’s wendye.

    I am posting a link to a very good article – I know you won’t probably have time to read it, so I’ll go back and get the pertinent paragraph – it has finally got through to me what you have been saying about the difference between Assange and Snowden, which I’ve totally missed, but you have been right all along, I think. I did watch the Snowden speech at Right Liveliwhatevers awards, and got a whiff of the insincerity there. Hmm.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/05/war-by-media-and-the-triumph-of-propaganda/

    (Now to go retrieve the pertinent segment.)

  11. Here we go:

    “It’s clear to me that the main reason Assange has attracted such venom, spite and jealously is that WikiLeaks tore down the facade of a corrupt political elite held aloft by journalists. In heralding an extraordinary era of disclosure, Assange made enemies by illuminating and shaming the media’s gatekeepers, not least on the newspaper that published and appropriated his great scoop. He became not only a target, but a golden goose.

    Lucrative book and Hollywood movie deals were struck and media careers launched or kick-started on the back of WikiLeaks and its founder. People have made big money, while WikiLeaks has struggled to survive.

    None of this was mentioned in Stockholm on 1 December when the editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, shared with Edward Snowden the Right Livelihood Award, known as the alternative Nobel Peace Prize. What was shocking about this event was that Assange and WikiLeaks were airbrushed. They didn’t exist. They were unpeople.

    No one spoke up for the man who pioneered digital whistleblowing and handed the Guardian one of the greatest scoops in history. Moreover, it was Assange and his WikiLeaks team who effectively – and brilliantly – rescued Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and sped him to safety. Not a word.

    What made this censorship by omission so ironic and poignant and disgraceful was that the ceremony was held in the Swedish parliament — whose craven silence on the Assange case has colluded with a grotesque miscarriage of justice in Stockholm.”

  12. Sorry, I should attribute the article – by John Pilger.

  13. hello wendye, hello juliania,

    When first hearing about Obombya’s pathetic $263M taxpayer money for body cameras and extra police training, I just about gagged and thought, though not figuring out WHY right away, what the hell good is that going to do anyone except placate a few critics saying that action was needed and that ‘nothing,’ was being done so action, however vacuous, was announced for the MSM, et.al. An answer to my innate revulsion was in this article.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/05/resisting-state-violence/

    “As other’s have noted, the problem with Obama’s response to this growing crisis of governance, is that he proposes to allocate more money to the police. The Department of Justice has the authority to defund police departments. But reduction is not on the table. Instead, Obama’s promise of $263 million will make policing more expansive.”

    Throwing more money at the police was feeding the monster, helping it grow, instead of restraining it, knocking it back, suppressing its power.

  14. I did do some happy things this weekend. Saw some friends and listened to some live music and shared some food. Some political organizing to resist proposed changes to the still healthy rural character of my home. Island mentality micro scale activism.

    My reading however continued through recognizing the distinct parallels to the plutocratic despot rulers in our own state and nation, persistent racial segregation, financial disparity, first amendment suppression in the US, too, within Norman Pollack’s piece.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/05/social-pathology-of-nihilism/

    The reminder that being, ‘thin-skinned,’ was the wholly necessary factor as a human, to being able to feel, to empathize and to be capable of showing compassion and caring was succinctly put together here, worth a read:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/05/trolls-we-create-they-spoil-and-we-fight-back/

  15. thank you for john pilger’s good piece, juliania. he’s right of course, but was rather diplomatic in not naming who got the big book and movie deals, namely snowden and greenwald. ;) he also must be quite aware of the duo’s use of the ‘good leaker’ v. bad leaker’ meme to discredit both manning and assange. and yet, as i’ve said before, assange keeps on showing solidarity with all of them in public and on twitter, and it’s too bad they don’t actually return the favor.

    i do forget why rusbridger turned on assange so viciously, to tell you the truth, and i wish i could remember who whistle-blew his ‘smashing hard drives’ theatrics, but…i can’t.

    he retweets loads of articles by pilger, as pilger is indeed one of his chief defenders, as in:
    http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-siege-of-julian-assange-is-a-farce-a-special-investigation

    i’m rather uncomfortable about providing (or not) any of the longish list of squidgey developments at first look and the intercept as some of my er…critiques haven’t been very well received. but here’s pilger’s speech at the logan symposium, it’s nice to watch him speak what we read.

  16. Hello, nonquixote!

    Those restorative occupations are vital – me, I go up on my roof and patch a few leaks, can see the world from up there, and the mountains…

    Here’s a long piece by Bill Black yesterday at nakedcapitalism that stayed with me for some points of disagreement though I pressed through to his main argument, which is the unsupportable disparity between what is happening on the street and what is not happening to the upper-upper-uppers. Sort of reminded me of when they would ship off to the colonies poor miscreants who’d stolen a loaf of bread. Only worse. At least some of the survivors got to build a new nation. No survivors seems to be the mandate now.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/12/new-york-city-aggressive-broken-windows-policing-carte-blanche-banksters.html#comment-2367816

    My comment comes at the end, a bit late but never mind.

    I hope wendye is absorbing some delicious quality time. A heart as big as all outdoors needs all outdoors to mend it.

  17. OOops, thar she blows! Heh.

  18. Thank you, wendye. I think it is way to Julian’s credit that he takes whatever opportunity he can have to present himself, and I firmly believe that these matters sort out as we become more familiar with the persons involved, and even in their forced absence. I’m reminded of the lady who actually discovered the double helix that then was crowded out by her colleagues – the stories eventually surface; the rewriting of history only aggrandizes for a brief moment of fame. Immortality is a stricter judge.

    Thanks for the video of Mr. Pilger – gonna grab some coffee and watch!

  19. mornin’, nonquixote; how good to hear a bit about what made your weekend happy.

    ‘ufat’, how great! but eeep: global research. some of it seems fine, other pieces i’ve found dubious or worse over the years. but i sure do know what he means by trolls often being in it just for the grimy lark of it; they have almost totally taken over the #ferguson acct, and have discovered some of the more recent ones, sadly.

    and yes, many sit at rt, and are quite evident in their verbiage that they are pros, many of them. it reminds me of the video on the nato twitter account, saying it was in rebuttal to the ‘fascists and neo-nazis memes in ukraine’. swear to gawd, they did footage of calm, idyllic market squares, and kept asking things like: “do you see any fascists here?” i only watched for a bit, but it was great propaganda….in that it so clearly WAS. ;)

    the other two i’ll read as i can, but oy. throwing dollars at the cops IS adding to their growth industry. add in that unless there were great punishments meted out for turning off body cams, and losing the tapes as almost always happens…who cares? and if there aren’t citizen-powered review boards with the power to hire and fire police chiefs, what good are they? (as in abq)

    more as i’m able…

    oh, and juliania: pilger’s understanding that it is the ‘liberal media’ that is far more dangerous than fox news is only too true, isn’t it?

  20. wendye,

    Having significantly less political experience, especially in evaluating what I read, notions of who is who, etc., your thoughts are very much appreciated.

    Same for you juliania. Thanks.

    More fun, the weather was warm enough to turn back the straw and dig some carrot, parsnips and leeks over the weekend. Soup is on today. A natural rise bread dough is mixed for baking tomorrow. Slush, sleet, icy stretches on the roads, nice to just be able to stay home.

    Political/environmental, many are involved attempting to stop the madness. Links in teh article point to my back yard.

    http://malcontends.blogspot.com/2014/12/is-lake-superior-to-become-another-lake.html

    And our Lt Gov is off to China to further trade with our new overlords, who especially want to get their hands on the controls of WI ginseng among other things, like farmland and water.

  21. oopsie, i did manage to read mr. burton’s piece, but i’ll have to pass for now on all the others. mr. pollack takes a lot of concentration on my part, dunno if it’s his style, intellectual superiority or what.

    the most interesting part of mr. burton’s was questioning prison as any direction those killer kops should go. i like ‘restorative justice’, but it’s hard to see that being terribly useful here, especially as a *disincentive* to other killer kops. but yes, the body cams are almost a distraction.

    the final (perhaps) negotiations are happening this week in deecee; the popular resistance folks are hoping to have hundreds there protesting. speaking of which, assange had posted this onion-esque discussion of the ttp and isds tribunals; he never even said that it was satire, so i was unprepared. ;)

    Added: i did like matt taibbi’s take on pantaleo’s non-indictment, as it echoes a few of the things i’ve tried to say on this thread and my.fdl that were breezed by.

  22. matt taibbi live at 1:00 pm CST today on WI Public Radio.

    Phone or email a question, live listening on the net can be found here:
    http://www.wpr.org/programs/kathleen-dunn-show

    a bit late for this info, but good morning to ya.

  23. zounds, nonquixote. that’s quite a gig he was invited to…

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