August 19, 2014 | 11:20am
Eric Garner, 43, suffered a heart attack during his arrest by the NYPD and died soon after. Photo: AP (left)
A special grand jury will hear evidence next month in the
police chokehold death of Eric Garner, Staten Island District Attorney
Dan Donovan announced Tuesday morning.
In a statement, Donovan said: “I assure the public that I am
committed to conducting a fair, thorough, and responsible investigation
into Mr. Garner’s death, and that I will go wherever the evidence takes
me, without fear or favor.”
Garner died July 17 following his caught-on-video arrest for selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island.
NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo was stripped of his badge and gun after the
controversial incident, and the city Medical Examiner’s ruled Garner’s
death a homicide.
In response to Donovan’s announcement, Mayor de Blasio issued a
statement saying: “New York City deserves an investigation into the
Garner case that is fair and complete. We are pleased that with today’s
announcement, the legal process is now underway.”
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hailed Donovan for showing “how seriously he is taking the matter.”
“We must also not forget that the New York City Police Department
protects New Yorkers every day and the vast majority do so honorably and
with great professionalism,” she added.
“As a city we must always strive for fairness and justice and it is
my hope that the legal process plays out New Yorkers will continue to
come together rather than allow our city to be divided.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who is leading a Saturday protest march and
rally in front of the Staten Island DA’s Office, said he was “in
consultation with the lawyers and family on the announcement,” but added
that it “does not impact our move for federal takeover of this case at
“The family, attorneys and I will be meeting with the US Attorney for
the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch, this Thursday at 3
p.m. at her office to pursue that,” he added.