Home World U.S. News Eric Garner’s death: Grand Jury testimony will remain secret in chokehold case

Eric Garner’s death: Grand Jury testimony will remain secret in chokehold case

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New York Judge William Garnett has refused to make public the evidence a grand jury heard about Eric Garner’s death in a police “chokehold”.

Judge William Garnett said those suing did not make a “compelling and particularized need” to release the records, which are usually kept secret.

The jury did not charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo for Eric Garner’s death.


Eric Garner’s death, alongside other similar cases, led to nationwide protests over police brutality.

The black man was stopped by police for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in Staten Island in August and placed in a chokehold by Daniel Pantaleo.

In a witness video, Eric Garner, who had asthma, is heard saying “I can’t breathe”. A city medical officer later ruled the death a homicide stemming from the effects of the chokehold.Eric Garner Grand Jury testimony

The New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups who argued for the records’ release said there was a need to reconcile the widely watched video of the arrest with the decision not to indict.

Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan said those who testified had an expectation of secrecy, and making their testimony public could damage the credibility of prosecutors in the future.

In statement on March 19, Daniel Donovan’s office said: “We respect and will adhere to Judge Garnett’s well-reasoned decision.”

Similar records were released for a Missouri grand jury investigating the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.

St Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch released the records, with witness names redacted, after the jury declined to charge Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, 18.

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