Federal prosecutors won’t bring civil rights charges against a New York City police officer in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, a person familiar with the case confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday. The decision not to bring charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo comes a day before the statute of limitations was set to expire, on the fifth anniversary of the encounter that led to Garner’s death.
Officers were attempting to arrest Garner on charges he sold loose, untaxed cigarettes outside a Staten Island convenience store. He refused to be handcuffed, and officers took him down.
Garner is heard on bystander video crying out “I can’t breathe” at least 11 times before he falls unconscious. He later died. Garner was black; Pantaleo is white. Garner’s death, along with the deaths of other black men at the hands of police, became a rally cry for police reform activists.
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said the government “has let us down” with the decision.
“”As I know the law book, there is no statute of limitations for murder. Am I right or wrong? There is no statute of limitations, that was murder that they did to my son,” Carr said.