Eric Garner’s family will continue to push for charges against the cop who killed him
By Frederick H. Lowe
The New York City Comptroller announced on Monday that it agreed to pay Eric Garner’s estate $5.9 million in an out-of-court settlement for his murder by a New York City police officer.
Garner died July 17, 2014, in Staten Island after Daniel Pantaleo placed him in an illegal chokehold for selling individual, untaxed cigarettes.
Garner’s death was captured on video and posted on the Internet. The New York medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, but a Richmond County (Staten Island) grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo for Garner’s murder.
As he was being choked to death, Garner uttered, “I can’t breathe,” which became a rallying cry for the #BlackLivesMatter movement and other movements protesting the murders of unarmed black men by white police officers.
Professional athletes, including Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers wore warm-up shirts with “I Can’t Breathe” written on them. Members of the National Football League also wore “I Can’t Breathe” warm-up jerseys.
Garner’s estate filed a claim against New York City last October for damages related to his death.
“Following a judicious review of the claim and facts in this case, my office was able to reach a settlement with the estate of Eric Garner that is in the best interest of all parties,” Scott M. Stringer, the NYC Comptroller, said in a statement.
He added New York City did not admit any liability in Garner’s death.
The fat lady, however, has not sung the final note on his death.
Eric Garner’s family said they will continue to press for charges against Pantaleo and work to reform the criminal justice system.