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NYCLU Statement on DOJ Declining to Bring Charges Against Daniel Pantaleo

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Photo Credit: Steve Rhodes/Flickr

Today the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will not bring criminal charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who placed Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold.

The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

“Half a decade after Eric Garner’s dying words, ‘I can’t breathe,’ were caught on video, the Justice Department has issued another tragic blow by deciding not to bring federal charges against his killer, NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. Garner’s death sparked a national conversation about police brutality, yet for five years, the DOJ dragged its feet, confirming that police officers who kill unarmed Black men rarely face any measure of accountability. We all know that Pantaleo used prohibited and lethal force against an unarmed and non-violent man, and the duty now lies with the NYPD to demonstrate that officers are not above the law – by ensuring that Pantaleo will never wear an NYPD uniform again.”

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