A Staten Island, New York, grand jury has refused to indict a white NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of an unarmed black man, Eric Garner. The incident occurred this past July when Garner was detained and placed in an illegal chokehold by Pantaleo for selling untaxed loose cigarettes. The entire incident was captured on cellphone video, which was uploaded to YouTube and spread throughout social media.
In the video Garner is heard gasping, “I can’t breathe” as the life is choked from his body. The coroner’s office ruled the cause of Garner’s death as a homicide due to “compression of neck, compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”
The residents of Staten Island are on edge as this decision comes in the wake of the grand jury opting not to indict the white officer who shot Michael Brown to death in Ferguson, Missouri.