Eric Garner Memorial Caught Fire: NYPD | NBC New York
The Death of Eric Garner

The Death of Eric Garner

Staten Island grand jury clears NYPD officer in chokehold case

Eric Garner Memorial Caught Fire: NYPD

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    Shamar Walters/ NBC News

    The Staten Island memorial for Eric Garner, the 43-year-old father who died while being taken into NYPD custody last summer, caught fire Monday, according to police.

    Authorities say the fire was not intentionally set and that criminality is not suspected. Police say the memorial caught fire at about 10 p.m.

    It's not clear how heavily the memorial was damaged.

    Garner's daughter, Erica, said in a series of tweets that she thought the fire was a case of arson. She said she and her family went to survey the damage late Monday.

    "evil set my dads memorial on fire tonight .but cant erase his legacy. rebuild 2morrow," she wrote in one tweet.

    Garner's stepfather, Benjamin Carr, told NBC News he also thinks someone set the memorial on fire. Carr said the fire department responded to the memorial, which he vowed to rebuild.

    "I'm going to rebuild it," Carr said. "Every damn time they tear it down, I'm gonna put it back."

    Daily vigils and protests have marked the spot on Bay Street and Victory Boulevard in Tompkinsville where an NYPD officer was caught on amateur video wrapping his arm around Garner’s neck as the asthmatic father of six gasped, “I can’t breathe!” nearly a dozen times.

    A grand jury decided not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo in the July 17 confrontation, sparking mass demonstrations across the country.

    Mayor de Blasio supported the protests that followed a Staten Island grand jury's decision not to indict the officer, fracturing his relationship with the city's police unions.


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