A grand jury cleared a White New York City police officer Wednesday in the videotaped chokehold death of an unarmed Black man who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes — a case that sparked outrage and drew comparisons to the deadly police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
The decision in Staten Island not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo threatened to add to the tensions that have simmered in the city since the July 17 death of Eric Garner. Jonathan Moore, an attorney for Garner's family, said he was told of the grand jury's decision. Two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the case, confirmed the officer was not indicted. "I am actually astonished based on the evidence of the video tape, and the medical examiner, that this grand jury at this time wouldn't indict for anything, is really just astonishing," Moore said.