Sunday, July 17, 2016

Feds still undecided about proecution in Eric Garner killing

 "Two years after the chokehold death of Eric Garner made "I can't breathe" a rallying cry for protests over police killings of black men, federal authorities are still grappling with whether to prosecute the white officer seen on a widely watched video wrapping his arm around Garner's neck.
The legal limbo is playing out on the watch of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has come under persistent pressure in the city and elsewhere to bring Officer Daniel Pantaleo to justice. The New York City case turned out to be a forerunner to a series of videotaped police killings across the country that have fueled outrage and protests.
Before becoming attorney general, Lynch ran the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, which initiated the review of Garner's case after a state grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo in 2014, and she personally met with Garner's family in that role. Questioned by Congress last week, she said the Garner investigation remains open but gave no indication of how or when a decision will be made.
Last year, the city agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle the family's wrongful death claim, but the push for a federal case has persisted."

Although there are worse cases, the Garner case is one of the most egregious.  He was unarmed and police should have backed-off temporarily when her repeated his claim that he couldn't breather.  Two years is long enough to reach a decision.  Putting a presumed-innocent defendant to a criminal trial for a homicide is a serious matter.  IMHO, although the officer is entitled to the presumption of innocence at trial, a trial is warranted to get all the facts out and give us some feeling that justice has been done, no matter what the verdict.

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