Garner was selling loose cigarettes, when he was approached by about five policemen. He complained about being harassed and did not resist. Pantaleo circled him and applied the outlawed choke-hold. He and the others dragged Garner to the ground, piling on, with Garner repeatedly saying that he cannot breathe. He later died.
It was all caught on video and lasted for about 14 minutes. It was horrible to watch. The coroner later ruled that it was a homicide by choke hold. Some of the policemen were granted immunity for testifying and Pantaleo was said to have spoken about his reason for about four hours. The majority of grand jury decided that nothing criminal had happened. This decision is criminal, but is more and more happening in cases involving police and black men. How could they have watched that video and not lay any charges? What did the prosecutor present and how?
The grand jury system is very flawed and need improving. Prosecutors who work closely with the local force, tend to be too close to them and is biased in their favor. There needs to be independent review of such cases. Also, because prosecutors are elected, they are more prone to reflect the attitudes, values and beliefs of the community where they were elected and where they work.
The Federal Justice Dept. has decided to conduct its own investigation into whether Garner's civil rights has been violated. Perhaps, Garner's family will get some measure of justice.