WATCH: Eric Garner’s Mom Issues Emotional Plea For Justice After Federal Prosecutors Recommend Charges

Eric Garner

The mother of Staten Island police chokehold victim Eric Garner issued an emotional plea Friday for long-delayed federal charges against a city cop in the 2014 death.

“If the Trump Administration’s Justice Department doesn’t hold NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo and others who killed my son accountable … they are failing to uphold law-and-order for politics,” said Gwen Carr.

Her comments came after reports of a rift between federal civil rights prosecutors and top Justice Department officials over whether to level civil rights charges in the death.

“They’re playing political games with the murder of my son,” said Carr. “It’s been nearly four years and there still is no justice — it’s unacceptable.”

Mayor de Blasio called on the Justice Department to make a decision in a case fast approaching its fourth anniversary.

The New York Times reported Friday that the recommendation to indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, has reached the desk of deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

“The family and loved ones of Eric Garner have waited long enough,” said the mayor. “Our city has waited long enough. After almost four years of deliberation … we once again urge the DOJ to show some level of decency to the Garner family.”

A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo in the fatal arrest. Garner’s oft-quoted last words before his July 2014 death were, “I can’t breathe.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly received a recommendation to indict Pantaleo, but his office was reticent to push ahead with a case that most considered tough to win.

“I am cautiously hopeful,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton. “It will only be a political decision of the Attorney General and Justice Department do not move forward.”

Lawyers for both the Garner family and Pantaleo said they heard nothing about the possibility of charges against the officer as the fourth anniversary of the death looms.

Nixing the charges “would be a huge disappointment,” said family attorney Jonathan Moore, who expressed concerns about the reported divide between the department’s top echelon and the actual case investigators.

Moore said the Garner family last met with prosecutors in the case this past June at a downtown Brooklyn hotel where they were joined by a pair of FBI agents, too.

Pantaleo’s lawyer Stu London said he was not told of any decision to indict in the case that ignited national protests.

“Officer Pantaleo has consistently denied he ever violated Mr. Garner’s civil rights,” said London. “This was a simple street encounter, with no violation of anyone’s constitutional rights.

“Politics should never trump the rule of law, and it is always important to remember that anytime there is a loss of life, it is tragedy.”

Garner died as Pantaleo and other officers stopped him over accusations that he was selling untaxed cigarettes. Pantaleo placed him in the chokehold after police said he resisted arrest.

Federal civil rights prosecutors have been investigating the death since that time — with members of Garner’s family complaining that they had been dragging their feet in reaching a decision.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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