Eric Garner

Judicial Inquiry Into Police Chokehold Death of Eric Garner Begins Monday

Four officers and four sergeants who were involved in Eric Garner’s 2014 deadly arrest were also ordered to testify, but not officer Daniel Pantaleo who placed Garner in the chokehold

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More than seven years after the deadly arrest of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk, a judicial inquiry into the police killing is expected to begin Monday.

There will not be a judge or jury verdict at the end of the two-week inquiry which seeks to bring more transparency to the 2014 incident. The proceedings will focus on four main topics including the force used by police to restrain Garner, documents filed after the arrest, the alleged leaking of Garner's medical history/autopsy report and allegations that NYPD officers at the scene withheld medical care.

Judge Erika Edwards ordered 13 witnesses to testify in the inquiry, scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Monday, including the NYPD’s chief spokesperson, the head of its internal affairs unit and the president of the police officers union.

Four officers and four sergeants who were involved in Garner’s arrest were also ordered to testify, but not the officer who placed Garner in the chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo. The NYPD fired him in 2019 after a department disciplinary trial.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, the city’s chief medical examiner and other high-ranking current and former city officials also won’t have to testify. Edwards ruled in July that other witnesses have more direct knowledge of the case.

Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, and sister, Ellisha Flagg Garner, had hoped that the mayor would be questioned under oath. They allege that de Blasio and other city officials neglected their duties in their handling of Garner’s death.

An appeals court says a judicial inquiry is warranted into the investigation of Eric Garner’s 2014 police chokehold death.
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