More than four months after Eric Garner, an unarmed father of six, died in an illegal chokehold during an arrest by a New York police officer, a special grand jury has declined to bring charges against the officers involved.
He was being arrested under suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes, and chokeholds were made illegal in New York more than 20 years ago.
His death was videotaped by a bystander.
A video shot by a bystander shows Garner resisting arrest as a plainclothes officer attempts to to handcuff him. Backing away from the officer, Garner tells him: “This stops today,” which has become a rallying cry for protesters in New York.
A struggle ensues. Eight-year NYPD veteran Daniel Pantaleo responds by putting his arm around Garner’s neck in a chokehold – banned under police policy – and wrestling the asthmatic man to the ground with the aid of several officers. Garner gasps “I can’t breathe” until his 350lb body goes limp. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.