A grand jury in Staten Island has decided not indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in relation to the death of Eric Garner, a man that Pantaleo was seen on video putting in an apparent choke hold in July, according to city officials and lawyers for Garner’s family.
The grand jury’s decision means that there will not be criminal charges in the case, but NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said earlier today that there may be up to three other investigations into the incident that could lead to a civil case or federal charges.
Garner’s family has already indicated that they plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the NYPD for $75 million.
The grand jury was made up of 23 residents of Staten Island and led by a foreperson. A decision required a majority of the jury — meaning at least 12 people.
Pantaleo, 29, and his police partner, Justin D’Amico, testified in front of the jury. D’Amico appeared only after being granted immunity from prosecution.
In a statement after the grand jury decision was announced, Pantaleo said: “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
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