New York City

Family of Eric Garner Frustrated but Hopeful After Meeting With Feds

The Garner family and civil right advocates have been demanding that federal authorities bring a federal case against Officer Daniel Pantaleo

The family of Eric Garner, the unarmed New York City man killed by a police chokehold, says they are frustrated that federal authorities still haven’t decided whether to prosecute any of the officers involved in his death.

Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, told News 4 New York on Wednesday that she hoped the Justice Department would indict the officers involved in her son’s death. Instead, she says she was told only that “the investigation continues.”

“I just wait and I pray,” Carr said.

It’s been nearly three years since Garner died during a confrontation with police on Staten Island, but the Justice Dept. still can’t tell Garner’s family whether or not the officers involved will face federal charges.

“We came here today for answers, but evidently we are still without knowing whether we are going to get justice or not,” Carr said.

Garner’s family and civil rights activist Al Sharpton met privately Wednesday with Justice Department officials at a Brooklyn hotel. They emerged from the meeting afterward saying they had been told that the investigation was still active.

“The bad news is we were not told they were going to move forward with prosecution,” Sharpton said. “The good news is they said this case is alive and it is not closed.”

A federal grand jury has been scrutinizing the actions of a white NYPD officer who put Garner, who was black, in a chokehold while arresting him on Staten Island in 2014. Garner’s death led to outrage nationwide over what many called police brutality.

A Staten Island grand jury cleared the officers involved of criminal wrongdoing, but federal authorities began their own investigation.

A year after Garner’s death, New York City settled with the family for nearly $6 million.

Carr said she’s discouraged amid the federal probe, but hopeful that action will be taken.

“Always, no matter how dim it looks, I’m going to be confident,” Carr said. “Because I’m living for justice for my son, and I truly believe I’m going to get it.”

(Disclaimer: Sharpton runs the National Action Network and is a talk-show host on MSNBC, which is owned by NBC Universal, the parent company of this site.)

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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